They sat hungover, sipping aromatic blends of black tea, the citrus was strong but the kick was missing. Gin. As quick as the idea was formed, it stuck, and it shall henceforth be known as Doris and Beryl's Bridge Club and Tea House.
The spirits are infused with tea and then carefully paired with herbs, fruits and spices.
Sitting on the south end of Newtown, you might expect that the Tea House might be hidden down an alleyway or disguised like a Butcher (like Earl's Juke Joint). Doris and Beryls Bridge Club and Tea House doesn't have a secret door that you enter, it has an open plan, you take one step from the footpath and you're amongst the cosy booths and wooden crate seating. On the right wall there are tea pots, tea blends, boardgames and candles and on the left, booths where you can play any of the board-games that you see.
Aaron Edwards, the owner of the Tea House and Bitter Phew (craft beer bar on Oxford Street) told Sam, (Master of Cocktails) that the sky was the limit and to play around with the tea and cocktails. We later found out that meant having quite a few teaser cocktails, sitting with a pen and paper mixing teas and spirits, furiously trying to remember what combination was the winner.
Let's get straight to the good stuff.
The man behind the bar is Sam Dennett, coming from a background of cocktail making in England and more recently Button in Surry Hills. With the help of Doris, Sam has been hard at work creating new cocktails and the latest to come out of the woodworks is Geriatrics in the Mist.
To make nanna proud, the boys have stirred up in-house coconut infused Gin, Armagnac (brandy from Gascony, France), freshly squeezed orange juice, almond syrup (orgeat), a drop of lemon and finished with a drizzle of Pedro Ximenez Sherry. It's so fresh it's not even on the menu yet, so this is definitely one to try before the crowds hear about it. It is a spin off the old classic, Fog Cutter. Geriatrics in the Mist is a silky smooth balance: the usually sour gin takes a back seat to the sweet coconut infusion with a kick of citrus acidity to finish it off.
Narcoleptic Nan traditional Tommy's Margarita infuses tequila with Camomile, combines freshly pressed lime juice and agave honey, and is served over a block of hand chipped ice.
50 Shades of Earl as you would expect Earl Grey is key in this drink but the surprise comes with the infusion of bourbon, hints of apple, peach and apricot syrups. This is a winner with those who love a good twist, leaving you with an almost spicy aftertaste.
The Last Will is a big, boozy mixture of gin, green Chartreause, Heering Cherry Liqueur, lime and Peychauds bitters. Sharp and to the point, without punching you in the face.
Don't forget, this is a teahouse so they do serve tea here too!
Mayde Tea from Byron Bay, is supplying the soothing teas for the cocktails, with her entire range available for teas and in the cocktails. Kate, Mayde Tea owner, has built her blends on the back of her Naturopathy studies and aims for teas to not only be delicious, but also have a medicinal value. They are all 100% organic and each blend has its own benefits.
If you are a tea lover, check out her range of earl greys, the sensha green tea with jasmine and rose as well as the hibiscus and lemon myrtle. Settle into your booth with a Serenity Tea it will cleanse your palette with the calming agents of lavender, rose, passionflower and chamomile. We enjoyed the Hibiscus Iced Tea with rooibos, lemon myrtle, hibiscus and jasmine, which was refreshing and tangy.
If getting drunk off tea isn't really your thing (which it should be), Beryl has a selection of canned beers on offer or head to Bitter Phew, the bitter brother of Doris and Beryl's Bridge Club and Tea House.