‘Tis the season for coffee and tea cocktails…

Velvet White Espresso Martini

Sales of coffee and tea products both remained strong this year as shuttered coffeehouses, cafés and restaurants did not stop consumers from having their daily fix of their favourite beverage. But rather than purchasing the items away-from-home as they may have done pre-pandemic, consumers turned to home preparation during Covid-19 lockdowns (as a result, e-commerce coffee and tea sales have flourished). Sales of functional coffees and teas – immune or metabolism boosting, adaptogen-enhanced, etc. – also surged during lockdowns as consumers looked for items to enhance their immune systems or to help reduce stress. Now that it is December and consumers are looking for ways to feel festive, relax and de-stress, it seems that ‘tis the season for coffee and tea cocktails.

Steep Echo Tea has actually been promoting tea cocktails since the summer, as was Allegra Coffee & Tea (see Editor’s Blog, A new style of iced teas). Steep Echo continues to endorse “spiked” teas, with its latest being Ascent Tea + Spiced Apple Rye Cake, Hush Tea Hot Toddy, and Repose Tea + Vanilla Bean Shortbread Buttons. The recipes are included in Steep Echo’s “Home for the Holidays” gift box or can be found here.

Starbucks Reserve Roastery (there are now six worldwide) offers several signature coffee cocktails on its regular menu at its Arriviamo Bars (I reviewed the menu at its New York City location so the drink selections may vary depending on the city) such as the Starbucks Reserve® Espresso Flight (featuring Starbucks Reserve espresso, which is paired with a variety of liqueurs and ingredients like Kalak Single Malt Vodka, vanilla bean syrup, Henriques & Henriques Saveiro Madeira, Ancho Reyes Ancho Chile Liqueur, Cherry Limone Luxardo Liqueur, and Limoncino dell’Isola, and lemon peel, etc.); the Starbucks Reserve Boulevardier (featuring Starbucks Reserve coffee, Knob Creek® Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Campari, Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth, vanilla bean syrup, and Scrappy’s Lavender Bitters); and the Cold Brew Spiced Rum, which has a base of Teavana® Dosha Chai Rooibos Tea and Starbucks Reserve Cold Brew coffee (along with Banks 5 Island White Rum, Lime Juice, Simple Syrup, Scrappy’s Black Lemon Bitters, and cinnamon). The Arriviamo Bars also offer a Sparkling Sakura Allure with Teavana® Sakura Allure Green Tea (as well as Suntory Toki Whisky, Prosecco, vanilla bean syrup, and lemon). Holiday season specials include the Pistachio Buttered Rum with Starbucks Reserve Christmas Coffee, Ron Zacapa 23 Sistema Solera Rum, Disaronno Originale Amaretto, King’s Ginger Liqueur, pistachio almond syrup, marshmallows, and pistachios; and the Maharaja Chai Nog that consists of Teavana Maharaja® Chai Oolong Tea, coconut milk, almond milk, Aperol, Banks 5 Island Rum, cream, ginger, nutmeg, and star anise). Interestingly, as there is limited seating because of Covid restrictions, many of the drinks are available to go with the purchase of food (at the NYC venue, that is).

But it is not just coffee and tea incorporating liqueurs to create cocktails, many spirits brands are also using coffee and tea as the base for alcoholic beverages. Disaronno (best known for its amaretto, as seen above), for example, is entering the coffee cocktail game with its new Disaronno Velvet liqueur. The Velvet Clásico features Disaronno Velvet, Zucca, cold brew coffee, Havana Club Dark Rum, and chocolate bitters, while its Velvet White Espresso Martini calls for Disaronno Velvet, Tia Maria Coffee Liqueur, Vodka and coffee beans or chocolate flakes. (If interested in the recipes, please feel free to email me.) A spokesperson for Disaronno further noted, “as the depth of coffee as a cocktail ingredient expands, we look to Disaronno Velvet to partner with a variety of beans, brewing methods (drip cone, French press, AeroPress) to produce an even more flavourful buzzy cocktail.”

After such a difficult year, and with the holidays upon us (which in a good year can be stressful), and many of us could use a fun, festive cocktail right about now!

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