How to Throw an Authentic (Inebriated) Tea Party


Across the nation, conservatives are making inaccurate historical references and liberals are making accurate sexual puns. Tea Parties are here to stay, at least while the ratings at Fox News are good. There have been complaints about the protesters and their message, but here’s what we don’t understand: How are you going to stoke fires of dissent with soothing chamomile? The only chance left is to spike that tea with something stronger, just like our forefathers did.

You’d have to be drunk to think that wearing that t-shirt was something to smile about.

George J. Kelleher’s 1895 book Modern American Drinks is credited as being the first to include the recipe for an Old-Fashioned. But it also includes some unusual tea recipes. The next time you’re planning to march on Washington, brew up a batch of Gin Tea Punch for your fellow embittered old white people. Kelleher writes:

Grate off the yellow part of the rinds of six lemons into a punch-bowl, add one pound cut-loaf sugar [use Demerara], the juice of the six lemons, half a pint of boiling water; mix well, add two quarts Old Tom gin [no longer extant, but David Wondrich suggests you buy a bottle of Tanqueray and sweeten it with a half-ounce of gum arabic]. Infuse one teaspoonful coriander seeds in a pint of boiling green tea for twenty minutes, then add while hot to the mixture in the bowl, stir well and when cold strain, bottle, cork and seal. Keep in a cool place.

Kelleher also makes a terrific suggestion for a drink that sounds as all-American as tea can get: Hot Beef-Tea. Alas, it lacks not only alcohol but also any actual tea. After we looked at this recipe we couldn’t believe that McDonald’s hasn’t tried to get it on the value menu yet:

A small teaspoonful extract of beef in a hot-drink glass, or mug, fill with boiling water, season to taste with pepper and salt, add two dashes celery bitters; mix, and serve with a small glass of fine ice on the side.

If you prefer your tea to be slightly less bovine, then Wondrich includes a Modern Tea Punch in his book, Imbibe . Fill a shaker with 1/2 oz cane syrup, 1/2 oz lime juice, 3 oz Hennessy VSOP, 2 barspoons of Sencha Green Tea, and ice. Shake and strain into an Old-Fashioned glass full of ice. Add a lime twist and pour out some of the drink in honor of the Constitution (RIP).

So there are a couple decent spiked-tea recipes out there, but we have to admit, we’re disappointed that the Tea Partiers didn’t decide to name themselves after the lesser-known Whiskey Rebellion. There are plenty of drinks for that one, and today’s Tea Party movement has a lot more in common with it. Because the Whiskey Rebellion wasn’t successful, either.