Build a Better Matcha Cocktail


Matcha cocktails, signatures featuring green tea and its concentrated powder form, are making inroads on cocktail menus around the country. Praised for its health benefits (ranging from reducing cholesterol to calming to boosting memory), matcha has long enjoyed popularity in Japan.

86 Lu
One of mixologist Mike Lu’s signatures at Estrellon in Madison, WI, the 86 Lue is designed to complement the restaurant’s Spanish cuisine. The cocktail combines housemade matcha tea syrup, vodka, egg whites, lemon juice, heavy cream and orange blossom water.

Bait and Switch
This drink specialty from mixologist Alex Riddle at Roka Akor in San Francisco fuses the flavors of kumquat, matcha syrup and fresh lemon juice with vodka. It’s garnished with a viola flower.

Matcha Latte Cocktail
Served at Cindy’s in Chicago, this dramatic green beverage combines matcha, steamed almond milk, honey and a choice of gin or amaretto. Spirit guide Nandini Khaund created the specialty drink.

Matcha Mule
Served at at Roku in West Hollywood, CA, this cocktail showcases green tea-infused vodka, ginger root, honey and fresh lemon. Mixologist Charity Johnston developed the spin on the Moscow Mule:

• 3 pieces muddled ginger root
• 2 oz. green tea-infused vodka
• 1 oz. honey
• 1 oz. fresh lemon juice
• mint sprig and ginger candy garnish

Mix and shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a copper mug over crushed ice.

—Gail Bellamy (May 16, 2016)