When friends Jennie Ripps and Maria Littlefield joined forces in 2013 to create Owl’s Brew Boozy Tea, the idea was to create a healthier cocktail. “With most cocktails, the choice is between something with club soda that doesn’t have a ton of flavor, or something with juice that is full of sugar and can contribute to a hangover,” says Ripps, a Tea Sommelier by trade who has worked on beverage programs for Momofuku, Soho House and the Public Hotel. “I really thought there was a better way to drink.”
What started as a hobby, with the pair hosting small soirées serving custom cocktails mixed with freshly brewed tea blends and botanicals, soon turned into a business as news of their 'tea-tails' spread and led to gigs catering events at Art Basel, Coachella, the Sundance Film Festival and NYC Fashion Week. “We found mixologists equally receptive,” says Littlefield. “Hotels and restaurants in New York, including the Standard, the Bowery Hotel, Quality Eats, and Smith & Wollensky also began incorporating Owl's Brew into their cocktail menus." Today the company produces six custom cocktail mixers along with a line of spiked teas that can be served straight on the rocks.
Tea is a natural botanical that can add different flavors and layers of depth to a cocktail.
Asides from the health benefits - studies have shown the high levels of antioxidant polyphenols in tea are powerful inflammation fighters and boost your immune system - tea is also a natural botanical that can add different flavors and layers of depth to a cocktail. Here the pair share their three favorite tea-tails for a tea party with a twist.