Tea Foodie [by Zanitea]

a journal of tea-inspired foods and recipes

Plum Oolong-icious Screw

Get your minds out of the gutter, people. It’s a cocktail.

plum oolong-icious screw

I’m slowly working my way through our liquor cabinet infusing anything I can with one tea or another. This time I made a tea-infused vodka that I turned into a refreshing twist on the screwdriver, a highball cocktail that is typically made with a mix of fresh orange juice and vodka.

A quick Wikipedia search enlightened me with some fun facts about the screwdriver:

  • The screwdriver received its name in the late 1940s when Americans working in the oil and gas industry in Saudi Arabia were reported to secretly pour vodka into their cans of orange juice and stir the intoxicating mixture with their screwdrivers.
  • Variations on the screwdriver are typically named a ‘Screw’—e.g. a screwdriver with Schnapps and orange juice is called a ‘German Screw’.

My variation, the Plum Oolong-icious Screw, is an Oolong tea-infused vodka (using Art of Tea’s Plum Oolong) mixed with fresh-squeezed orange juice and Breckenridge Bitters (my new favorite apertif liquor from Breckenridge Distillery).

art of tea plum oolongplum oolong tea infused vodkamaking a plum oolong-icious screw

If I could define my perfect cocktail, this might be it. I love a strong cocktail (where you can taste some alcohol) mixed with fresh fruit (that’s not too sweet) and a dash of something tart or bitter. If you like a sweeter cocktail, try adding some simple syrup to this recipe. But for me, this one’s perfect just as it is.

Happy cooking and sipping!

P.S. Many thanks to Art of Tea, which provided me with complimentary samples of several tea blends to play around with for tea foodie recipe creation.

Plum Oolong-icious Screw

(By Zanitea)

Makes 2 servings


For the tea and vodka infusion:

2 heaping teaspoons loose leaf Plum Oolong tea from Art of Tea (or other fruit-flavored Oolong tea blend)

2 cups vodka

For the cocktail:

3 ounces Plum Oolong tea-infused vodka

1 ounce Breckenridge Bitters (or other apertif-style liquor)

juice of 2 large oranges, plus 2 large pieces of fresh orange peel

enough ice to fill 2 highball glasses


1. Prepare the tea infused rum: Steep the loose leaf tea in the vodka in a sealed glass container for 2 to 4 hours. Strain, discard the tea leaves, and store the tea-infused vodka in a tightly sealed container.

2. Mix the cocktail: Combine the tea-infused vodka, bitters liquor and orange juice in a cocktail shaker with a few ice cubes, and shake until well combined. Strain into 2 highball glasses filled with ice. Top each cocktail with a large slice of orange peel, and serve.


  • The orange juice is the only thing sweetening this cocktail. If you prefer a sweeter drink, add a little simple syrup or agave nectar to the mixture.
  • Breckenridge Bitters is prepared in the style of an apertif liquor, like Aperol (but better, in my opinion). If a more concentrated bitters, like Angostura, is what you have in your liquor cabinet, then increase the amount of tea-infused vodka in the recipe to 4 ounces, and only use a few dashes of bitters.

6 comments on “Plum Oolong-icious Screw

  1. Laurie
    January 18, 2013

    It is amazing what a few dashes of bitters can do for a drink.

    • Tea Foodie [by Zanitea]
      January 19, 2013

      I agree, Laurie. My solution to any drink I’m not happy with is to add bitters.

  2. Gareth
    January 25, 2013

    I’m currently in the process of setting up an online tea shop, any tips or favorites you think I should add to those I will stock?

    • Tea Foodie [by Zanitea]
      January 27, 2013

      Hi Gareth,
      Wow, I can think of a million teas you could stock! But from my tea foodie point of view, some great teas to recommend cooking with would be: matcha, lapsang souchong, sencha, keemun, earl grey, jasmine, assam, milk oolong, chai

  3. Kitchen Butterfly
    February 16, 2013

    You should submit all your wonderful creations to food52.com’s tea contest. (http://food52.com/contests/329-your-best-recipe-with-tea). These are such wonderful ideas and I love, love the idea of using tea as a base, and as a spice….rather than just a drink!

    • Tea Foodie [by Zanitea]
      February 24, 2013

      Thanks, Kitchen Butterfly! Bummer I missed the Food 52 tea contest this time. Love the recipes that were submitted. Thanks for sharing that link.

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About Zanitea

Combining a love of tea and food through hand blended teas and cooking with tea inspiration.

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