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Impress Your Guests: How to Infuse Tea into your Holiday Dinner

Hosting holiday dinners can be challenging -- whether you're hosting extended family or trying to find a new recipe to wow your guests, finding the right touches to make to your holiday dinner can be frustrating.

Luckily, iN-TEA is here to help! Adding tea to your holiday meal can add unexpected charm sure to impress!

Without further ado, here are 5 ways to infuse tea into your holiday dinner:

1. Tea Cocktails

Greeting your guests with cocktails at the door is a wonderful way to get your dinner started! We have a full bar here at iN-TEA, and we love to experiment with craft tea-infused cocktails!

In November, I did a blog post on Cozy Craft Cocktails for the colder months -- all of these are warm cocktails, including a recipe with our Caramel Toffee Oolong and bourbon, and a unique recipe with our Bordeaux Pu'erh and red wine!

All of those recipes and more can be found here!

If you're looking for a recipe for a cold tea-infused cocktail, try our Chamomile Sour -- this cocktail is a tried and true recipe that is beloved by staff and customers alike!

This easy cocktail recipe requires nothing other than lime juice, tequila, and a Calming Chamomile simple syrup. To make the simple syrup, simply combine 1 cup of granulated sugar and one cup of hot water, and then steep 6 tbsp of our Calming Chamomile for about three hours. Strain the tea out and you're ready to make your Chamomile Sour!

Ingredients (for one beverage):

- 1 oz lime juice

- 1.5 oz shot of tequila

- 1.5 oz of Calming Chamomile simply syrup (recipe above)

- Salt or sugar for the rim 

- Lime wedge (for garnish)

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.

2. Strain out ice and serve in a martini glass with a salt or sugar rim, and a lime wedge for garnish.

 2. Blooming Tea at Dinner

Blooming Teas are flowers hand-wrapped in balls of tea; as the tea steeps, the flower slowly unfurls, revealing a beautiful blossom. Blooming teas can be a wonderful table decoration, and a conversation starter!

Carole Alvarez, the owner of iN-TEA, puts a blooming tea in a stemless wineglass at every table sitting at her holiday dinners. A clear wineglass is ideal so that everyone can watch the flowers unfurl! Not only are blooming teas beautiful, having a warm drink with dinner can help aid in digestion (and help you feel less full so you can eat your fill of dessert!).

We carry a variety of blooming teas at the shop, including a Grape Green, a Lychee Blossom, and a Peach Fairies!

3. Tea for the Kids

The kids need tea too! At iN-TEA, we have a variety of caffeine-free teas that are kid-friendly, but our favorite is our Winter Mint Rooibos. This naturally sweet tea has peppermint and white chocolate pieces in it for a delectable beverage!

We also offer a Gummy Bear tea and a Vanilla Berry Cupcake Rooibos -- all of these are tried and true kid favorites! 

Just be sure to let the tea cool for a few minutes before serving -- we don't want any burnt tongues during the holidays!

4. A Tea-Infused Champagne Toast

You can infuse tea into almost anything -- hot water, cold lemonade, beer, and even champagne! Infusing your bubbly with tea is an excellent way to add some elegance to your glass!

You can put almost any tea in your champagne, but any tea with hibiscus in it will turn your champagne a lovely pink hue. Try our Raspberry Rain herbal blend, or our Raspberry Delight green tea! The Raspberry Rain is bit more tart, whereas the Raspberry Delight is a bit sweeter, so you can pick and choose based on what kind of bubbly you're serving.

At iN-TEA, we serve our tea-infused champagne in a french press, so that our guests can choose to decant the tea as they wish. However, that can prove to be difficult if you're providing champagne for a large group of people. An easy solution is serving each glass of champagne with a small mesh-ball infuser of tea (which you can find in our shop for only $4.99) so that guests can decant their individual glasses with ease!

5. Dessert: Tea and Chocolate Pairing

Finally, for a fun and light dessert, try a tea and chocolate pairing! When we do tea and chocolate pairings here at iN-TEA, we always get our chocolate from the Chocolate Therapist, which is just a block west of us on Main Street! We love to support our fellow small businesses in Old Town Littleton, and their chocolate is seriously SO good.

For this dessert pairing, it's easiest to prepare large pots of each tea and then serve a cup with each chocolate. Here are our pairings, hand-crafted by Carole Alvarez herself!

1. Pair a decadent Apricot Milk Chocolate with a sweet Peach Fantasy Rooibos.

2. Match a light Amaretto Milk Chocolate with a spicy Herbal Chai.

3. Put together a rich Orange Dark Chocolate with a savory Ginger Rooibos.

4. Finally, partner a luxurious Sangria Dark Chocolate with a lovely Calming Chamomile.

Each of these teas are caffeine-free, so that you and your guests can be sure to get a good night's sleep!

If you're looking for an alternative dessert option, check our a recipe for a delicious dairy-free Darjeeling-Berry Sorbet!

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No matter how you celebrate this holiday season, we hope that tea can help you bring peace and joy to your friends and families. Happy holidays, tea lovers!


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