Tea Cocktail with tequila, apple and tarragon

Tea and tequila may at first seem like an unlikely pairing when, in fact, both share smoky aromatic components that make them compatible in a cocktail. Black teas such as Darjeeling can accentuate the delicate smokiness also found in tequila blanco, as you’ll discover in this Tea cocktail with tequila, apple and tarragon.

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Pairing tea and tequila

First flush Darjeeling teas are handpicked during early spring from the Camellia sinensis tea plant, which is grown across the famed Golden Valley mountain district of Western Bengal. A Chinese tea tinged with Indian terroir, these Darjeelings are prized for their delicate smokiness and bright green, fruity, floral and phenolic notes. By using the cold brew method versus hot, we avoid losing any of the aromatics during the steeping process, thus preserving more flavor.

“I use the cold brew method of steeping for this recipe to prevent the loss of any aromatics and potential oxidation of the tea leaves.”

Our Foodpairing® analysis reveals an impressive array of floral, spicy, fruity, citrus and distinctive smoky notes in the Jose Cuervo tequila blanco. Distilled from 100% blue agave, it pairs exceptionally well with a premium quality Darjeeling black tea.

Enhance your Tea and Tequila Cocktail

Starting with this tea and tequila cocktail as your flavor base, there are many variations you can experiment with to suit your palate. To add a sweet, tart accent to this tea cocktail and highlight its green, fruity notes, this recipe calls for a simple syrup infused with Granny Smith apple and fresh tarragon, which link to the Darjeeling’s spicy, floral and fruity scents. However, if you prefer more floral notes in your cocktail, you can always substitute the apple for lychee, which would add its own refreshing, rose-like flavor. Experiment and explore the infinite flavor possibilities!

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Tea Cocktail with tequila, apple and tarragon


  • 40 ml Jose Cuervo Tradicional Silver tequila
  • 40 ml Darjeeling black tea, cold brewed
  • 20 ml Apple & Tarragon Syrup
  • 10 ml lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • milk chocolate (optional)
  • lychee (optional)

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Serve in an Old Fashioned glass over ice.

Optional: Substitute lychee for the Granny Smith apple. Or, enjoy with a piece of milk chocolate on the side!

Cold Brew Darjeeling Tea

  • 600 ml water, room temperature
  • 40 g Darjeeling first flush black tea

Brew the tea leaves using cold water and allow to steep in the refrigerator for at least one day.

Apple-Tarragon Syrup

  • 100 g water
  • 100 g refined sugar
  • 100 g Granny Smith apples
  • 2.5 g fresh tarragon

Brunoise the apple and transfer to a medium-size sauce pot, together with sugar and water. Mix to combine.

Next, add the tarragon and bring the mixture to a boil over medium-low heat. Once the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat and cover the pot with foil to slow down the cooling process. Leave in the refrigerator overnight and then sieve.

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