The oldest beverage in the world (aside from water, of course) has steeped its way behind the bar and kicked off a tea-based trend in the cocktail scene. Brett Oye, lead bartender at French restaurant Brabo in Alexandria, Virginia, started adding tea to his bar arsenal after a stint at a coffee shop during college. “There, I focused on drinks with less caffeine and more flavor,” Oye says. “Tea can add subtler, more nuanced flavors to drinks that would otherwise be bland or overpowering without it.” It all started with the irish chai, a lower-caffeine alternative to irish coffee, and now tea-infused cocktails are a mainstay on his fall drink list. Here, he shares two new brews with us: The chai à l’orange—a nod to the brasserie staple, duck l’orange—and corsaire punch, a Tiki-style drink he crafted after discovering that matcha plays well with rum.
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