Just chill with rooibos tea cocktails

“According to experts, bartenders are moving away from overly complex mixes and are creating interesting flavours with a few key ingredients, such as rooibos. Big liquor brands have also cottoned on to the trend and have launched various tea-based drinks and variants,” says Ernest du Toit, spokesman for the SA Rooibos Council (SARC).

“Given the fresh, full and natural flavour profile of rooibos, you don’t need a lot of different ingredients to achieve the perfect cocktail indulgence. Rooibos tea is an easy and effective way to boost any cocktail. A lot of subtleties of rooibos tea play well off of vodka and specifically gin, since the latter has a lot of the same characteristics as the tea.”

Another added benefit, he says, is that rooibos is naturally low in calories and contains no fat or carbohydrates, making it a lighter alternative to normal cocktails, which are often calorie-loaded. It also contains antioxidants, which protects against cancer, heart disease, and stroke.

Here are some rooibos cocktails to spruce up your festive season:

Rooibos tea sparkling cocktail

Rooibos tea sparkling cocktail


⋇6 blackberries

⋇45ml Shochu (a trendy Japanese clear distilled spirit similar to vodka)

⋇30ml Sweet white vermouth

⋇45ml Chilled brewed red rooibos tea


⋇1 lemon twist


In a cocktail shaker, muddle 5 berries with the Shochu, vermouth and tea. Add ice and stir. Pour through a fine strainer into a chilled coupe. Garnish with the remaining berry and the twist.

Rooibos tea punch

Rooibos tea punch


⋇500ml strong rooibos tea, cooled

⋇500ml peach juice

⋇At least 100ml vodka

⋇1 lemon, thinly sliced

⋇Handful fresh mint leaves

⋇2 peaches, thinly sliced


Combine all the ingredients in a large jug and stir well. Serve over ice.

Iced rooibos tea cocktail

Iced rooibos tea cocktail


⋇60ml Rooibos Espresso Tea

⋇30ml cherry vodka

⋇15 ml milk

⋇½ cup of ice

⋇Garnish: Cherries


In a serving glass add Rooibos Espresso, cherry vodka, and ice. Stir mixture then add milk. Garnish with Cherries

Fire and spice cocktail

Fire and spice cocktail


⋇3 cups of Rooibos Chai tea

⋇1 cup of cranberry juice

⋇120ml vodka

⋇30ml Limoncello

⋇Cranberries and/or thinly sliced lemons for garnish


Pour 3 cups boiling water over 2 tbsp. Rooibos Chai tea. Steep for 10 minutes, and then strain. Refrigerate until cold. (To chill instantly, brew tea in 1 1/2 cups water & strain over 1 1/2 cups ice.) Combine chilled tea with 1 cup chilled cranberry juice, 120ml vodka, and 30ml Limoncello. Shake over ice. Serve well chilled in martini glasses, champagne flutes, or short tumblers. Garnish with cranberries and/or thinly sliced lemons.

Makes 4 cups (1 litre)

Rooibos strawberry punch

Strawberry punch


⋇750ml strong, cold Rooibos

⋇1litre apple juice

⋇1litre granadilla/ passion fruit juice

⋇1litre strawberry juice

⋇2 bottles (750m leach) of sparkling red grape juice

⋇1 punnet of strawberries, sliced

⋇1 orange, sliced

⋇Fresh mint leaves


Mix Rooibos, apple, granadilla and strawberry juices and chill. Add chilled sparkling grape juice. Garnish with strawberries, orange and mint.