The Kentucky Tea Cocktail Recipe

Kentucky Tea Cocktail from Fiero in Buenos Aires
This simple Kentucky Tea pairs bourbon with a DIY eucalyptus-mint infusion. Donald Erickson/E+/Getty Images
  • 20 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 serving

The Kentucky Tea features lemon juice, honey, eucalyptus and bourbon to make a complex, refreshing summertime drink.

Buenos Aires' finest boutique hotel, the Fierro, located in the Palermo Hollywood district is also known for outstanding craft cocktails, excellent wines, and gourmet foods. The renowned mixologist at the Fierro, Martin Bruno, created this Kentucky Tea recipe and has generously shared his creation.

As one may expect, the name Kentucky Tea is relatively common among bourbon drinks and there are many recipes that have this moniker. Very few of them are alike though the majority, including this one, are a spiked twist on the traditional Southern Sweet Tea.

The recipe is written to create an iced tea though one could also make it in the winter and enjoy it as a warm, comforting drink.

What You'll Need

How to Make It

  1. Fill an old-fashioned glass with crushed ice.
  2. Add bourbon and lemon juice.
  3. Add lemon/mint/eucalyptus infusion and stir to incorporate.
  4. Garnish with a fresh mint sprig.

To Make the Lemon-Mint-Eucalyptus Tea Infusion

  1. Add tea, lemon, and eucalyptus to one cup of hot (not boiling) water.
  2. Steep for 15 minutes, then strain.
  3. Add honey to taste.
  1. Chill until ready to mix the Kentucky Tea

More Tips for Making a Great Kentucky Tea

The majority of bourbons available will make an excellent Kentucky Tea though it will be best if you choose a high-quality, top-shelf option. Woodford Reserve is the bourbon recommended by Bruno and its smooth, softer profile is a great example of the style of whiskey that will work best in this recipe.

Bruno also recommends a specific brand of mint tea. While Smith Teamaker does make quality teas, feel free to use your favorite tea blend that concentrates on mint. Extraordinary new tastes can be found very easily by choosing a tea with extra layers of flavor already in the bag.

Eucalyptus leaves are not a common sight at most retailers. It can typically be found at natural food stores or where a good selection of dried herbs are sold. The menthol flavor that a eucalyptus leaf adds to this cocktail is invaluable and it is an element that should not be skipped.

If you have to buy eucalyptus in bulk (which is very likely) then you can always make a eucalyptus simple syrup for use in drinks like this Eucalyptus Martini and as a substitute for mint syrup in other drinks.

Buy Eucalyptus Leaf from Amazon

How Strong is the Kentucky Tea?

This Kentucky Tea recipe is a very mild drink which is why it is perfect for a casual summer afternoon. If we take Bruno's recommendation of Woodford Reserve (43.2% ABV) then the finished drink will be a gentle 14% ABV (28 proof).

Originally Published: August 3, 2011
Edited by Colleen Graham: October 3, 2015