Hold on to your swizzle stick, it's tea-infused spirits and syrups that are set to be the 2020 cocktail trend. Hell, we figured as much, so we're happy to see it confirmed by the Kimpton Hotels and Resorts' 2020 Culinary & Cocktail Trend Forecast.
Several top professionals have used Canton in their competition drinks, many have created Canton tea cocktails in their stellar bars and last year we knocked out some cracking recipes with our partners. Here we're sharing our top picks for the Canton teas that make the mixologists smile.
Earl Grey may be the old faithful of the mixologist, but if you're on this page we're guessing you already appreciate there's EG and then there's Canton EG. The aromatic waft of authentic bergamot oil says Mediterranean citrus grove and then the smooth, rich black tea murmurs - actually, you're back in England - or India, or China. This Earl Grey pairs beautifully with most of the spirit world. You could shake it up a little like Double Standard at The Standard Hotel London, who used Canton Earl Grey to make a foam for their 'Red Grape Summer Tea Punch'.
Lapsang Souchong needs serious consideration. The Canton Lapsang Souchong sets itself apart from other contenders by coming from the place where it was invented 400 years ago - the remote Fujian village of Tong Mu, set in a Unesco World Heritage Site no less. This distinctive black tea is smoked over pinewood embers and will lend a sultry, smokey depth to a whisky cocktail.
Other naturally flavoured black teas in the Canton catalogue find favour with the imaginative mixologist. UK Coffee Masters Champion Jimmy Dimitrov of Clifton Coffee (pictured below) recently placed in the top four in the world with his signature drink - featuring Canton Mango Noir.
Pictured: Jimmy Dimitrov, photo credit Harrison Dowling Media.
As a category, oolong has the widest spectrum of flavours, from fresh-air flowery to roasted stone fruit richness. Canton Honey Orchid is a gift for cocktails and ranks as a persistent favourite. It's bright orchid and fruity peach notes pair well with a dry, unfussy London gin. Canton Training Manager Carri keeps it simple and infuses 10g of Honey Orchid in 1ltr of dry gin for an hour to make her signature G&Tea. Join her at a monthly Canton Teach session and she finishes the training session off with this snifter so you can taste it for yourself.
The more sophisticated version of Canton Gin is a small-batch craft gin created for us by Psychopomp Micro Distillery. Using Canton Honey Orchid and Silver Needle as the key botanicals it is sensational - and available to order on our website.
Matcha, with its vivid green colour and umami flavour, is green tea in its purest and most intense form. It's super versatile and a lot of fun. We're extremely proud to have 'Matcha Peachu' as one of our recipes as it was created for a Canton cocktail competition back in 2014 by Monica Berg, the superstar owner of Tayēr + Elementary and the Bartender's Bartender of the Year 2020.
Frankly, Canton Jasmine Pearls is never not on-trend as a cocktail ingredient. It adds that ethereal floral note that chimes beautifully with most spirits and can be used as a hint or with more pungency as it's hard to overdo in a cocktail. The first time (!) Dan Fellows won the World Coffee in Good Spirits Championship in 2018 he used Canton Jasmine Pearls in his Japan-inspired cold designer beverage 'Kyushiki', which also featured coffee, Hibiki 12-year-old Japanese whisky, Umeshu plum liqueur, Gouveia Cachaca, yuzu juice and Kuro Sato – a Japanese black sugar. Now that was memorable.
Canton Pouchong, the tea that inspired the start-up of Canton over a decade ago, is a high-grade Taiwanese green tea with an astonishing floral lift like a breath of fresh air to gin-based drinks. Our Canton signature cocktail 'Lily the Peach' is gin-based with peach syrup and flash-chilled Canton Pouchong. It's knock down gorgeous.
Pictured: (Centre) 'Lily the Peach'
The many and various herbals offer a huge choice of flavours. Start with the good stuff, Canton herbals are made from only natural ingredients, if they are flavoured it is with 'from the fruit flavours' which are entirely natural (unlike many herbals labelled 'natural flavourings' which are anything but).
Last year, Kate Barnett, Chief Stewardess of luxury superyacht M/Y Cheetah Moon won the MYBA Art in a Glass competition with her 'Gin T' recipe, featuring Tanqueray No. 10 Gin infused with Canton Lemon Verbena.
Request your free Canton Teas for Cocktails
For a little inspiration to kick-off or boost your cocktail menu, request a Tea Cocktail Sample Pack. It contains samples of our top teas for tea cocktails and includes an as-yet-unreleased, hyper-rare herbal infusion- be the first to try it.