Milk tea is a staple if you live in Southern California. A Taiwanese import, the combination of milky, sweet tea with chewy boba floating around has long been a favorite among teenagers with a sweet-tooth and me. The idea to make it a cocktail came from a matcha whiskey drink I enjoyed at Angel’s Share in New York. The subtle floral, grassy, bitterness of the tea with the whiskey was delicious, and for some reason “let’s make this bubble tea!” popped into my head.
Making boba is actually pretty simple: you just boil tapioca and store it in sugar syrup until you want to mix up your tea. Once you get the boba going, you can make this combination with any strong tea you like. Enjoy!
For one 8 ounce drink
1 heaping teaspoon matcha
1/2 cup water
1 ounce bourbon
sweetened condensed milk or half and half, to taste
1/4 bourbon soaked boba (recipe below)
Boil water to 165F to 180F. Combine the matcha and a 1/2 cup of water in a bowl. Whisk in rapid “w” movements until frothy. Pour the tea into a cocktail shaker with bourbon, sweetened condensed milk, and ice. Shake vigorously for 15 seconds. Add a scoop of bourbon soaked boba and enjoy!
INGREDIENTS (BOURBON SOAKED BOBA)
1/4 cup dried boba (large tapioca pearls, not the quick cooking kind)
2 cups water, plus a 1/4 cup for sugar syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup bourbon
In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Add the boba and stir gently until they begin floating to the top of the water, then turn the heat to medium and cook the boba for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the pan from heat, cover, and let the boba sit for another 12 to 15 minutes.
While the boba are cooking, make a syrup to sweeten and keep them from hardening. Bring a 1/4 cup of water to a boil over high heat on the stove and add the bourbon. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup sugar until dissolved. Set aside to cool.
Once the boba are chewy and tender, drain and pop them into a small bowl or container. Pour the bourbon syrup over top until the boba are submerged, letting them marinate for at least 15 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to use. Boba are best if used within a few hours of cooking, but will keep refrigerated for several days.