French-Style Tea Cocktails for Holiday Celebrations
Though tea was first introduced in France in the 17th century, French appreciation of this versatile beverage has really taken off in the past 25 years since Francois-Xavier Delmas opened the first Le Palais des Thés boutique in Paris.
Delmas’ niece, Aurélie Bessière, president of Le Palais des Thés, USA, explains: “French people are fond of good food and drinks, are eager to taste new things, and love learning the story behind what they are eating and drinking. I think that is part of why the French are becoming more and more fond of drinking, serving and enjoying tea. Behind the drink there are so many interesting things to know: tastes, traditions, people and much more.”
If you are hosting friends and family this season, why not introduce them to the delights of tea, the French way?
For those looking for a true taste of Christmas, Le Palais des Thés offers a limited edition collection of four teas scented with vanilla, almond, cinnamon, rose, orange and lemon zests. Thé N° 25 is perfect for cold nights in front of the fire with friends and family. N° 25 is available in black tea, green tea, white tea and rooibos (caffeine-free) versions, packaged in superb gift-ready holiday tins.
N° 25 Black Tea makes a delicious and easy way to prepare mulled wine for holiday entertaining. A Northern European tradition, in France mulled wine is most closely identified with the province of Alsace, home of the Strasbourg “Marché de Noël,” the most famous Christmas market in Europe.
Thé N° 25 Mulled Wine Recipe
When infused in hot wine, “Black Thé N° 25” develops a very interesting spicy bouquet and citrus notes. The vanilla aroma of the tea enriches the fruity aromas of the wine. Well balanced, comforting, and delicious, this blend is just right for celebrating the holiday spirit with friends and family.
Makes six servings
- 750mL of red wine (1 bottle)
- 5/8 (70g) cup brown sugar
- 4 – 5 rounded teaspoons (7 to 11g ) of “Le Palais des Thés’ Black Thé N° 25”
Slowly heat the wine and sugar in a large pot over a low flame. When the mixture begins to come to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer (without boiling) for about 5 minutes until the sugar has completely melted. Add the tea to the pot, cover, and infuse for 4 to 5 minutes over a very low flame. Filter and drink hot.
Add a vanilla bean to the pot when adding the sugar. Remove before serving.
When serving, garnish each glass with a slice of orange.
For a Memorable Réveillon
For an original New Year’s sparkler, combine Le Palais des Thés’ signature Thé du Hammam (a fruity blend of delicate green tea with berries, rose, orange flower and green date that evokes the characteristic fragrances of a hammam) with your favorite Champagne and a touch of peach liqueur.
Thé du Hammam Champagne Sparkler
Makes five servings
- 3 rounded tsp or 3 tea bags of Le Palais des Thés’ Thé du Hammam tea
- 10 ounces of spring water
- 10 ounces of Champagne
- 2 tbsp. of peach liqueur
Infuse the Thé du Hamman tea in lightly simmering spring water for 3 minutes. (Do not let the water come to a boil!) Filter the leaves, let the tea cool, and then let chill in the refrigerator for a half hour. Put chilled tea and peach liqueur in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Pour into flute glasses, about half way up, and top off with well-chilled Champagne.
Thé du Hammam is available as both loose tea and as gourmet tea bags. A limited-edition decorative tin makes a perfect hostess gift for a tea lover.
Thé N° 25 and Thé du Hammam are available at Le Palais des Thés boutiques or online.
64, rue Vieille du Temple, Paris 3rd
Tél: 01 48 87 80 60
Métro: Saint Paul
Open: Daily 10am—8pm
61, rue du Cherche Midi, Paris 6th
Tél: 01 42 22 03 98
Métro: Sèvres-Babylone, Saint Placide
Open: Monday 10:30am—7pm; Tuesday through Saturday 10am–7pm
25, rue Raymond Losserand, Paris 14th
Tél: 01 43 21 97 97
Métro: Gaîté or Pernety
Open: Monday through Saturday 10am—7pm
21, rue de l’Annonciation, Paris 16th
Tél: 01 45 25 51 52
Métro: La Muette
Open: Monday from 10am—6pm; Tuesday through Saturday 10am—7pm
36, rue de Lévis, Paris 17th
Tél: 01 47 63 15 48
Open: Monday through Saturday 10am—7:30pm
Photo credits: Kathy YL Chan
Diana Castelnuovo-Tedesco is a partner at Fraîche Europe, an international public relations firm based in Paris. The agency’s client experience includes Veuve Clicquot and the City of Dijon. Please click on her name to read more about her.
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