Drink of the Week: Blueberry Tea

Now here’s a drink I might make if I wanted tea with a little something special. Tea is trendy in the cocktail world right now; yes, it’s come a long way since its inaugural boozy abomination, the Long Island Iced Tea. You can now drink orange pekoe with Amarula and cinnamon for a “Naughty or Nice,” or chilled green tea with mint, gin and ginger beer for a “Teajito.” Or, pull out all the stops and mix cognac into your Earl Grey in a Blueberry Tea.

A strong and fruity take on a traditional Blueberry Tea cocktail at Yellow Door Bistro.

A strong and fruity take on a traditional Blueberry Tea at Yellow Door Bistro.

Traditionally a Blueberry Tea is a warm drink made with tea — usually Earl Grey or Orange Pekoe — and spiked with amaretto and Grand Marnier. Oddly, blueberries do not make an appearance into the mug; it’s so named because of the subtle fruity flavour of the drink. The mixologists at Calgary’s Yellow Door Bistro decided to up the ante by adding cognac into their version.

Now, I’m not one to turn down a serving of Courvoisier XO, but I do have a little quibble here. I think XO, aged as it is on average 20 years, is best sipped neat. Swapping in a VS or VSOP cognac is the way to go when using this spirit in a cocktail — one of these will deliver a fortified wallop to tea time, and you can still raise your pinky when sipping. Civilized, indeed.

Courvoisier Blueberry Tea

  • 1/2 oz Courvoisier XO
  • 1/4 oz Grand Marnier
  • 1/4 oz amaretto
  • Earl Grey tea

Into a glass mug of hot Earl Grey add Courvoisier, Grand Marnier and amaretto. Garnish with an orange twist.

— Recipe courtesy Yellow Door Bistro

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