Keep the cocktails healthy in the new year with tea as an ingredient

Mid-January has arrived — which means we’ve either already given up on the New Year’s resolutions we so earnestly pledged to keep this year, or we’re stubbornly holding onto them, vowing to eat better and work out more at least through February.

Whatever the case, cocktails generally don’t fit in with any newfangled diet we’re attempting. They won’t ever be considered good for you, if for no other reason than the booze. But ingredients like tea certainly can’t hurt.

The French-focused Peche in Austin's Warehouse District recognizes that tea's versatility, as a result of the herbal, vegetal or floral qualities it can impart, contributes a little something extra to cocktails like the Porch Swing and the Suicide King, two cocktails that have proved popular on its extensive drinks menu.

Both use an Earl Grey tea syrup. The tea is one of the most recognized in the world, a black tea flavored with the oil from the rind of bergamot oranges.

Porch Swing

1 1/2 oz. Cognac

3/4 oz. Giffard Abricot du Rousouillon

3/4 oz. lemon juice

1/2 oz. Earl Grey tea syrup (see below)

Combine all ingredients. Shake with ice. Strain into chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a lemon swath.

Suicide King

2 oz. Bols Genever

1/2 oz. dry curaçao

1/2 oz. Alessio Vino Chinato

1/2 oz. Earl Grey tea syrup (see below)

Combine all ingredients, stir and serve garnished with a swath of orange.

Earl Grey Tea Syrup

1 Earl Grey tea bag

1 liter hot water

1 liter sugar

Steep the tea in the hot water until the water is dark (that time varies based on the brand of tea used, but it’s generally about 15 minutes).

Remove the tea bag and blend the water with the sugar until completely integrated.

— Peche