The Perfect Poker Drink, and How to Turn It Into a Cocktail

27th February 2023

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When asked about their preferred drink for playing poker, players responded in a series of hilarious ways - “the tears of my fallen foes” was our favorite. On a more serious note, though, many have recommended green tea as the perfect drink for playing poker. This drink has a series of beneficial properties, even if you don’t count the medicinal parts - it’s refreshing, tasty, and has a pretty high caffeine content that will alert and calm you simultaneously.

Green tea may be the perfect drink if you want to play online poker for real money - but if you want your drink to also enhance your mood in a friendly game of poker, it may not do the trick. Luckily, there are several ways in which plain old green tea can be turned into more exciting drinks with the addition of a few extra ingredients.

What you need to know about green tea as a cocktail ingredient

“Green tea” is a generic term used for a wide variety of products, from chopped-up leaves crammed into paper filters to high-quality, loose-leaf tea. As you might expect, the latter will give you the best experience. In general, choose a fresh herb that has a bright green color.

The temperature of the water is also an important factor. For the best results, heat the water to around 180F / 82C, just below boiling. Use around 1-2 teaspoons (2-4 grams) of tea leaves for around 8 ounces (circa 230-240 ml) of water - put the leaves in the teapot, and pour the hot water over them. Leave them to steep for up to 3 minutes, then strain well - don’t leave any leaves in the tea, because they may alter the flavor.

Green tea has a slightly bitter, earthy, and grassy flavor - the bitterness can be much stronger if you steep the tea for too long.

How to turn green tea into a cocktail

One of the best ways to turn plain old green tea into an alcoholic drink is to prepare it with some lemon juice and honey and add a dash of vodka. This will preserve the flavor of the other ingredients and add a slight buzz to the mix, still keeping it refreshing and delicious.

Pineapple green tea martini

The bitterness and earthy tones of green tea enhance the tartness and sweetness of pineapple juice. Add some fresh mint leaves for a refreshing touch and some vodka for good measure, and you’ve got yourself a delicious and refreshing drink. Optionally, you can add some citrus juice as well.

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Green tea mojito

Have you ever heard of a green tea mojito? If not, this is the best time to give it a try: muddle the mint leaves in a tall glass with the lime and the sugar, then add the white rum. Fill the glass up to two-thirds with ice, then add cooled green tea and stir.

Gin and Mint Tea

Another delicious and simple recipe is Gin and Mint Tea, a recipe that replaces tonic water with another slightly bitter and healthy drink: green tea. Prepare a syrup using green tea, ginger, orange zest, sugar, and mint. When it’s cooled, stir in gin and lemon juice, and serve on the rocks.

Are these drinks the right choice for a real-money poker game? Probably not - unless, of course, you leave out the alcohol. But they are a great choice for a friendly poker game at home, to keep you alert and in high spirits. Cheers!

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Bartender's top tip

Consistency is key in cocktail making. Use a jigger or a measuring tool to ensure that you're adding the correct amounts of each ingredient. This not only helps in balancing the flavors but also in replicating the success of a drink you’ve particularly enjoyed. It’s easy to adjust recipes when you know exactly how much of each ingredient is in the mix.

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