Does mixing whiskey and green tea seem odd to you? Well, if definitely did to me when I first heard of the combination. As a Virginian, whiskey is made to drink neat (or if necessary, with the help of ice and/or diet coke). Green tea, that healthy concoction, is popular amongst yoga/pilate followers and hardcore health nuts, but should it also be for alcoholics? Well, after discovering this delicious alcoholic combination we discovered traveling in China, the answer should be a hella loud “yes”.
In China whiskey and green tea drinks reign
In China we experienced a new way to drink whiskey and blended scotches with ice and green tea. It is, to simply put, a brilliant mix.
In China the concept of a bar the way we are accustomed to does not exist. There is no crowding around a long slab of saloon wood vying for the waiters attention. Rather everyone is required to get a table and order drinks through a server. After getting a server and a table, it was normally either baijiu (Chinese version of gasoline alcohol – yum), vodka, or whiskey. Typically in the US, a bottle of whiskey comes with carafes of sodas and ginger ale. In China, they don’t believe in carbonation with whiskey. What was brought out to us were green and red teas.
Cold whiskey and green tea are refreshing
When properly iced, the drink is stunningly refreshing. It is perfect for a hot summer day, perhaps a tiny bit too perfect. Any sharp bites and peatiness from the scotch whiskey is masked fairly well by the sweetness of the bottled tea, but not entirely. The caffeine from the tea also acts as a natural Redbull. Perfect for those longer nights out. This drink helps craft a wonderful feeling of drunkenness, awareness, and healthiness. The antioxidants and other hidden beneficial nutrients from the green tea help counteract some of the negative effects of alcohol.
China is the birthplace of tea and green tea reigns supreme. Green tea is unfermented (unlike black tea varities), in which heat has been used to kill the enzymes that would cause the leaf to ferment, oxidize, and blacken. The British were slow to discover tea and way behind the Chinese and Portuguese. Yet, once they did it was game over and the addiction spread like wildfire across all constituents. The same may, and should, happen for green tea and whiskey beverages. Here’s to healthy drinking.
“To what a height of folly must a nation be arrived, when common people are not satisfied with wholesome food at home, but must go to the remotest regions to please a vicious palate” — Jonas Hanway, 1757