Tea and whiskey have a close relationship that stretches back several centuries.
Both are time-honored drinks, with a unique tradition and rich culture.
Carefully combining the two can create a delicious drink that is greater than the sum of its parts.
In this post, I’ll explain what the combination of these two much-loved drinks tastes like and also share a few simple whiskey and tea recipes.
What Does Whiskey And Tea Taste Like?
Whiskey and tea are both comfort foods that have a warming quality.
This makes whiskey and tea drinks particularly enjoyable when consumed on a cold winter night or rainy afternoon.
The flavors of the two ingredients tend to complement one another.
A good tea can provide herb, citrus, and fruit flavors, without getting in the way of the flavors provided by whiskey.
Whiskey can contribute many additional different flavors, depending on the type of whiskey you use.
A good Scotch whisky might add citrus, dried fruit, dark chocolate, spices, tobacco, peat smoke, and oak.
Use a bourbon whiskey and you might notice more caramel, molasses, vanilla, and honey.
Irish whiskey is particularly good choice, as it can add delicious floral, fruit, herb, and vanilla flavors to your tea. This can work really well with certain tea varieties, like Darjeeling tea and Earl Grey tea.
Although whiskey is quite flavorsome, it doesn’t dominate the flavor of tea. Combining whiskey and tea is like partnering wine and cheese — they both make the other ingredient taste better.
Given that there are so many different teas and whiskeys available, the challenge is finding a combination that you enjoy. Below are a few recipes to help you get started.
Whiskey And Tea Recipes
The Hot Toddy is a well-known Scottish drink combining whiskey, tea (or hot water), and lemon.
Because it has been around for so long, there are many variations on the Hot Toddy recipe.
Many Scotts take great pride in having a unique Hot Toddy recipe that is passed down their family.
Here are a couple of simple versions:
Black Tea Hot Toddy With Irish Whiskey
1 cup water
1 tablespoon black tea
1 tablespoon honey
60 ml of Irish whiskey
1 wedge lemon
Optional: 5cloves, 1 stick cinnamon, 1 piece star anise
Combine the water and spices in a small pot
Bring the water to just below boiling and remove from heat
Add the tea leaves and let the mixture brew for 4 minutes
Strain your tea into a large mug
Add the honey
Float the whiskey on the top of the tea by pouring it over an upside down spoon
Add a squeeze of lemon and serve
Simple Hot Toddy With Scotch Whisky
1 cup brewed breakfast tea
1 tablespoon honey
60 ml of Chivas Regal Scotch whiskey
3 dried clove and ¼ spoon dried nutmeg
Brew a pot of breakfast tea and set aside
Place a spoon of honey into a toddy glass (tall glass with handle)
Add the other ingredients and stir until the honey is dissolved
Milk Tea And Whiskey
This is the way many older people enjoy mixing whiskey and tea. It is essentially a cup of tea with Scotch whisky, honey, and lemon.
The type of tea you use can really make-or-break this recipe, so experiment with different varieties.
Many people enjoy using a strong tea like Lipton Yellow Label, as it works well with the sweetness of the honey and Irish whiskey.
1 cup boiling water
1 teabag of Lipton Yellow Label black tea (or your favorite tea)
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 tablespoon milk
45 ml of Irish whiskey
1 wedge lemon
Let your teabag steep in a cup of boiling water for about 1 minute
Remove and discard the teabag
Add sugar, milk, and whiskey
Stir and enjoy
Whiskey and Green Tea
The hot toddy is a great option for cold climates, but it can be less enjoyable when the weather is warm. A better option is to blend chilled green tea with whiskey.
The soft, grassy flavors of green tea can really complement the floral and herbaceous flavor of Irish whiskey.