The Malibu Mocktail

It could be said that, "The Malibu" was named after the summer sunset in Southern California, with its gold and pink hues. Instead, the real story behind the mocktail, involves singer Anderson .Paak and his song, "Malibu," along with our desire to get back into the "lab."

As of recent, we’ve been feeling like we haven’t been experimenting at the tea bar as much as we used to; those late nights playing around with how tea can be pushed beyond the cup (or in this case, a different kind of cup). It's that different kind of cup that made us start thinking about the trend of mocktails and how we could infuse the tea world into the recently popular non-alcoholic drink scene. 

We’ve played around a bunch before with making tea cocktails, balancing the fusion of alcohol bases and tea concentrates, but tea-mocktails require a unique kind of concocting. Mocktails are non-alcoholic versions of typically alcoholic beverages. There’s an attention to detail in their development. Without having alcohol their flavor profiles require a different kind of backbone to build upon. For tea-mocktails, it’s even more about tea as an ingredient and how every other added one pairs perfectly with the flavors of that specific loose leaf.  Thinking outside the box and just grabbing enticing craft ingredients with the singular goal of highlighting a tea is what really excites us the most about this tea-mocktail trend and menu we are building. Not to mention, building off the taste of one of our very own teas is where the fun really starts!

Just check out Imbibe Magazine, an online and print publication that focuses on liquid culture (so cool)! They have an entire section on their website dedicated to the alcohol-free drink movement. The page is split between ways to virginize and elevate classic cocktails and what's happening in the craft / artisanal coffee and tea world. No matter the angle, the important content is based on the fact that all of the featured drinks use next-level and out of the box ingredients. This new wave of mocktails breaks out of its past that includes drinks like Shirley Temples or Daiquiris; mocktails are now about complexity.

The mocktail's inherent attention to detail and complexity is why we wanted to build a tea-mocktail menu for the tea bar. Premium quality loose leaf has always been viewed as an archaic, unapproachable, and complex sip. Tea People's mission is to demystify that assumption. We want to do the same thing with mocktails as we aim to do for tea. It's not about taking away the complexity of tea or tea-mocktails, it's about making them approachable for everyone. We want our menu to make the concept of a craft sip simple to the everyday drinker. 


The Malibu, is the first craft tea-mocktail we’re launching at the tea bar. The Malibu features our July tea of the month, Coconut Green. This loose leaf has a green tea base and is flavored with real coconut flakes and extract, so on its own it’s naturally sweet and almost creamy in mouthfeel.
Our tea geek Ken Kawachi said in regards to the thought process behind the drink that, 

“The goal was to create a crisp, clean, and refreshing drink with an emphasis on tropical feelings out of Coconut Green tea. After multiple tests, one shaker accident resulting in a ruined shirt and tie, and the will to continue, the Malibu came to life. “


These tropical feelings came in the from of spearmint sprigs and a choice of fresh housemade strawberry or mango puree, all shaken and strained over ice.  The vibrancy of these ingredients both highlight the loose leaf, but also allow for the natural creaminess and refreshingly light aftertaste to shine through. 

For now, as we build out our new tea-mocktail menu at the tea bar, we’re sampling all of our creations! So far we've gotten pretty rave reviews in the drinks ability to highlight the Coconut Green tea from tea connoisseurs and novice tea lovers alike! Come share your tasting notes with one of our tea geeks and see what the tea-mocktail scene is all about.  

Print out this recipe and try it for yourself or swing on by the tea bar (8 Octavia, SF) to taste our first go at a tea-mocktail!

Stay tuned for more mocktails, recipes, and happenings at the tea bar by subscribing to our newsletter and following us on social media. Our behind the scenes are always fun to follow!