Pinkies Up

Bartenders look to the tea shop

Spiking a batch of iced Lipton's is nothing new.

Indeed, there are few summertime libations we enjoy more. Lately, though, bartenders across the country are heightening the tea-cocktail relationship by seeking out tea makers with passions that match their own.

At Dévi in New York, beverage director Jeff Bartels pairs loose-leaf teas from In Pursuit of Tea with everything from Aperol to white wine. In our favorite iteration, Bartels matches a woodsy Pu-erh tea with ginger syrup and moscato in his Ginger T'ail (click here to download the recipe).

In Chicago, bartenders use the high-end offerings from Rare Tea Cellar to lend classic cocktails a new twist. At Sepia, bartender Joshua Pearson makes a magnolia oolong tea-infused whiskey to mix with honey, egg white and Chartreuse for his Boston Martha. And at The Bristol, bartender Debbi Peek uses the same floral tea blend in a syrup that replaces orange flower water in her version of a Ramos Gin Fizz.

At Nostrana in Portland, Oregon, bartender Douglas Derrick cold-soaks bergamot tea from Steven Smith Teamaker overnight to make his black-tea gomme syrup. The syrup shows up mixed with Applejack in his Black Rose cocktail and adds an extra layer of spice to his Steep Alexander.

Here's to getting your brew on.