Happy hour is a little less.... boozy these days.
In 2020 and 2021, while living through a global pandemic, the world became cocktail crazy. Alcohol consumption rose by 14% from 2019 to 2020, as many of us entertained ourselves a home during such an intense time. Perhaps we were numbing ourselves. Perhaps we just... liked the taste.
As we've turned the corner and moved into 2022, buzz-less beverages are increasing in popularity, with mocktails taking a step into the spotlight. Consumers are re-evaluating their relationship with alcohol and how it aligns with other aspects of their lives and lifestyles. In 2021, a NielsenIQ omnibus survey showed that 22% of consumers reported that they were cutting back on consuming alcohol and drinking less. One of those buzz-less beverages is not-so-new. Tea. Many people are choosing Darjeeling with a friend over drinks after work.
Afternoon tea is more than a meal—it’s a moment, an aesthetic, a pose. Rather than hosting a happy hour with friends, folks are increasingly hosting a traditional, English-style afternoon tea, complete with beautiful cups and finger foods. Additionally, it is the platinum jubilee this year- what better time to give it a try. Want to host your own tea party? Read on!
Throwing a par-tea: what you'll need
Traditional English afternoon tea typically consists of several types of tea, a tiered cake tray with cakes, finger sandwiches, and scones or tea cakes. For a great selection of recipes and ideas for all of these foods, check out this great article from good foods. There are a ton of ideas. Know that you do not need to make all of your items. Tasty petit fours can be purchased frozen from your local grocery store, and scones or tea cakes can be easily found at a local bakery.
For a simple sandwich idea, try cucumber rye bites. Purchase the tiny loaves of rye bread, English cucumbers, dill, and sour cream from your local grocery. Something like this would work really well for the bread. Open the bread, lay out each slice. Place a small dollop of sour cream, a dusting of dill, and a slice of cucumber on top. Serve open-faced. Super simple, and super delicious.
Interesting Teas to Try
In addition to the classics, like Early Gray, there are some new tea beverages on the scene that are making quite a stir. Have you heard of Butterfly pea tea? It sounds crazy, I know. It is a fun and delicious herbal tea drink that turns blue when steeped, and changes color with exposure to lemon. It is caffeine-free, and contains antioxidants that help your body to protect itself from cell damage. It is easily found and inexpensive- I found this on Amazon for only $7.99!
So, will you host an afternoon tea?
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