Two Ways to Make Alcoholic Thai Iced Tea

Two Ways to Make Alcoholic Thai Iced Tea
Alcoholic Thai iced tea is an awesome, grown-up variation of the delicious classic. If you love ordering the sweet, creamy beverage at your favorite Thai restaurant, hold on to your socks, because I’m about to knock them right off. Not only is Thai iced tea a cinch to make at home, you can also zazz it up with one of these two delicious cocktails!

Boozy Thai Iced Tea

Thai tea, with its characteristic spice and velvety sweetened condensed milk, translates beautifully into a mixed drink. And bonus! It’s literally as easy as stirring three ingredients in a glass.
For the base of your drink, you could use a Thai tea mix or any black tea that features a similar flavor profile. Think spices like cardamom, star anise, and clove. There’s a strong overlap between the spices found in Thai tea and those found in chai. Brew up a nice strong cup of your favorite chai, and you’re half way to a delicious alcoholic Thai iced tea. I suggest Vanilla Latte tea, a decadent cardamom vanilla crème black tea. Its natural creaminess is a match made in heaven for the gooey dollop of sweetened condensed milk that completes your Thai tea cocktail. (Or coconut cream for all you vegansand coconut fiends.)
Because your drink will be iced, you can always cold brew your tea, or you can steep an extra strong cup and quickly bring it down to temperature by adding a handful of ice cubes. Either method works perfectly!
Once your tea is steeped and cooled, it’s a simple matter of sweetening, if desired, adding your alcohol of choice, and stirring in a spoonful of sweetened condensed milk. Serve it over ice, and that’s it! Sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
A note: Choosing your alcohol is an important step in any cocktail. In this case, to lean into the traditional sweetness of Thai tea, I recommend vanilla vodka. Or, if you’d like to highlight the warm flavors of the tea, a spiced rum could do nicely. The profile of the alcohol strongly affects the outcome of the cocktail, so it’s important to choose something you know you will enjoy. In experimenting with recipes for alcoholic Thai iced tea, I discovered a cardamom vodka that I thought would pair perfectly. Wonderful concept; terrible vodka. Whatever booze you choose, choose wisely!

Boozy Thai Iced Tea

  • 2 ounces Vanilla Latte Tea (or strong black tea of choice)
  • 1 ounce vanilla vodka
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • 1 ounce sweetened condensed milk
  • Crushed ice or ice cubes (crushed ice is more traditional, but ice cubes will do the trick)

Add all ingredients to a tall glass.
Stir to combine.
Sprinkle with cinnamon or cardamom to garnish, if desired. Enjoy!

Thai Tea Cocktail

For a cocktail that is more of a deviation from the classic Thai tea recipe, but decidedly inspired by the indulgently delicious drink, try a whisky Thai tea. You could keep it as simple as the Boozy Thai Tea by combining all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, straining, and enjoying. Or you could tap into your inner bartender and whip up a deceptively fancy and surprisingly easy masterpiece with just a couple extra steps. It’s as easy as one, two, three!

Step One: Prep Your Glass

I love drinking out of a martini glass. Sometimes I’ll use one to drink something as simple as lemon water, just because it makes me feel fancy. In this case, a martini glass is not strictly necessary, and for whisky, a tumbler would be more traditional, but I say, if you’ve got a martini glass, use it!
Create a sugar rim by moistening the edge of your glass (I like a thin coating of sweetened condensed milk to really lean into those sugar vibes), and dipping it onto a plate covered with a thin layer of sugar. To enhance the flavors in your tea, consider adding a sprinkling of cinnamon or cardamom to the sugar; it will make all the difference.
I know that whisky and a sugar rim is counter-intuitive, but remember that this cocktail is inspired by Thai tea, and Thai tea is sweet! We’re just taking the sugar out of the tea and onto our glass. If you prefer a less sweet drink (or don’t feel like taking the time), of course feel free to skip this step.
If you are feeling particularly fancy and have the accoutrements, splash a few drops of appropriately flavored bitters into your glass and swirl it around to lightly coat the bowl. This would be a fun element to play with, depending on the nuances of your whisky. Cocoa bitters or blood orange bitters would both be a delightful complement to the spices in your tea.
I like my whisky with a twist, and in this case, the zesty citrus of an orange pairs wonderfully with the warming spices of Thai tea. To add a twist, you can slice a little medallion of orange peel from your fruit, or use a potato peeler to cut a strip of the rind, an inch or two in length. Pop that into your martini glass. Or, for a final element of excitement, try a flaming twist! The heat does fun things for the oils in the citrus, resulting in a slightly caramelized note that adds a lovely yet subtle depth of flavor to your cocktail. Plus, you get to play with matches in a bartender-approved setting.

Step Two: Mix Your Drink

This part is pretty self-explanatory. Combine your whisky, tea, and sweetened condensed milk in a cocktail shaker and shake it like a Polaroid picture.

Step Three: Strain and Serve

Another self-explanatory step. You’ve already done all the work! Just like that, you have yourself one heck of a Thai tea cocktail.

Thai Tea Cocktail

  • 2 ounces Vanilla Latte Tea (or strong black tea of choice)
  • 1 ounce whisky
  • 1 ounce sweetened condensed milk (plus more for sugar rim, optional)
  • Sugar and cinnamon or cardamom for sugar rim (optional)
  • Cocoa or blood orange bitters (optional)
  • Cinnamon stick (for garnish, optional)
  • Ice

Spread sugar and cinnamon or cardamom in thin layer on a plate. Coat rim of glass with sweetened condensed milk and dip into sugar mixture. Splash several drops of bitters into the bowl of your glass, and swirl gently to coat. Set glass aside.
Combine ice, tea, whisky, and sweetened condensed milk in cocktail shaker. Shake until well combined and chilled.
Strain into glass.
Garnish with cinnamon stick. Enjoy!

If you decide to make either of these alcoholic Thai iced teas, snap a picture and share it with us on social media @plumdeluxe! We’d love to see how they turn out. Cheers!

Erica Jolly

Erica Jolly is a born and raised Pacific North Westerner. Rainwater flows through her veins. She is a tea drinker by day, wine drinker by night, and lover of food, yoga, and rambling conversations.
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