It’s summertime, and a good time to take a lighter approach to tea drinking. Iced tea is always a favorite, but tea can also be used in combination with alcoholic beverages to create unique, enjoyable, and TASTY summer cocktails. This article will focus on non-distilled beverages like wine as the alcohol source.  This is also ideal for cafes who want to offer interesting alternative cocktails without needing a liquor license. Plus, the alcohol levels are lower so that everyone can enjoy one or two without getting hammered. 

Planning a summer gathering? Mojitos are a nice summer cocktail, but if you have a lot of people, muddling the mint and preparing everything can be labor intensive.  The great thing about these tea cocktails is that they are easy to scale up in large quantities with minimal work. Plus, your guests will be blown away by the great taste, and the fact that tea is a major ingredient.

Regarding the alcohol,  most wine stores will carry small individual or half bottle sizes. You don’t need anything fancy. You can keep frozen lemonade concentrate on hand and use as much as you need. The recipes below are all single serving proportions, but just double or triple the amounts for how much you want. Garnishes like lemons, oranges, and mint are optional. When called for, simple syrup is a 50/50 sugar/water mixture.

Recipe #1: Tea Sangria

  • 1/3 cup tea – Blood Orange or other citrus tisane
  • 1/3 cup sparkling wine
  • 1/2 cup lemonade

Pour over ice and garnish with citrus.

Recipe #2: Pina Colada Punch

  • 3/4 cup tea – Pina Colada style fruit tisane
  • 1/2 cup Pinot grigio

Pour over ice.

Recipe #3 Blackberry Sage Noir


  • 1/2 cup Pinot Noir
  • 1/4 cup tea – Blackberry Sage tea or other dark berry flavored tea
  • 1/3 cup lemonade
  • 1 oz simple syrup

Pour over ice and garnish with berries.

Recipe #4: Cucumber Melon Sake

  • 1/4 cup sake
  • 1/2 cup Cucumber Melon Green tea or other melon flavored tea (lychee is another idea)
  • 1 oz simple syrup
  • Squeeze juice from a slice of lemon

Combine all ingredients, and garnish with a cucumber slice.

Bonus: Alcohol-Free Recipe

  • 8 oz Lavender Raspberry Tea or other floral tea
  • 1/4 cup lemonade

Brew tea according to direction. Add lemonade, then slowly pour tea over ice. Top off with additional ice.

Images provided by author.