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If you are searching for an alcoholic drink that draws the classic flavours of Hong Kong dining with the DIY cocktail experience, well, Tipsy Lemon Tea might be the next drink for your Saturday night boozing, house parties, or cute indoor dates.
It was created by homeshake, a local Hong Kong DIY cocktail brand founded by three bartenders, businessmen, and designers to bring Hong Kong’s beloved lemon tea to the world of cocktail making.
The cocktail “spirit” is inspired by the strong, citrus flavours of the lemon-infused Chinese tea synonymous in the homes and restaurants of the city, with 7% alcohol perfect for at-home mixing.
Tipsy Cat saw its birth in the spring of 2020 through homeshake, founded by budding alcohol lovers Benny Yau, Dave Tse, and Jacky Chan with a need to provide alcoholic fun to Hong Kongers in the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At-home bartending was on the rise with bars and nightclubs shutting, giving drinkers a headache due to the need for multiple ingredients for their creations. “We kick[ed] off our brand with the city’s first 0 Tool DIY Cocktail Box, allowing people to enjoy a fancy drink on their doorsteps without professional knowledge or gear,” Jacky said.
“Surprisingly, even after the reopening of bars and restaurants, we found out the customers also consider the kit as a staycation, house party, home office or me-time companion.”
As the appeal of their DIY Cocktail Box gained a cult following in Hong Kong, the trio searched for suggestions from their customer-base to launch a ready-to-drink cocktail with classic Hong Kong flavour, creating the Tipsy Lemon Tea.
With a strong background in bartending, Dave attempted to blend the flavours of traditional Chinese tea leaves with a balance of zest to create a sweet aftertaste and rich tea aroma. The strong citrus taste of the Tipsy Lemon Tea is similar to the cups of lemon tea sold in the city’s chaa chan teng’s.
The founders see Tipsy Lemon Tea as an apt cocktail base for mixing with its low 7% alcohol content in the sub-tropical climates of Hong Kong, and as a perfect welcome drink or aperitif. Tse suggests pairing the drink with “robust and piquant chargrilled food, and partners particularly well with hotpot and sashimi.”
Tipsy Lemon Tea stands out in the market of cocktail mixing and fruity alcohol with its “out-of-the-box thinking.” With developing Tipsy Lemon Tea and their line of signature cocktail brands under homeshake, the trio aim to pair flavours, recipes, and experiences with the Asian cuisine.
“To relish the exuberance of cocktails anytime anywhere, we always wish to create cocktail recipes that fit into our cultures as an innovative beverage manufacturer.”
“Apart from producing drinks with local flavours, it is essential to create bonds with the citizens through collaborations and events in different areas, like music producers, street fashion, and artists. Subsequently, we wish the citizens to cherish local brands and cultures.”
As cocktail enthusiasts, Benny, Dave, and Jacky seek to share the pleasure of cocktails within the community rather than simply to drink.
"Dinkers will find it more fun to prepare their drinks, giving them a strong sense of fulfilment and wish to share it on social media,” Chan said, underlying the photogenic appeal of their cocktails.
“Not only does the widespread social media sharing accompanying e-commerce allows our brand to get recognition from the public, but it also helps us to bond with customers like friends, beyond typical merchant-customer relationships.”
To get your hands on a bottle of Tipsy Lemon Tea, thirsty at-home cocktail makers are encouraged to purchase the alcoholic-tea on their website or find a list of local stores across Hong Kong.
With dreams of delivering the best experience to the burgeoning Hong Kong market for homegrown spirits, homeshake wants to dream big and release Tipsy Lemon tea in Taiwan, Singapore, and Japan in the future, before penetrating the international markets of the United Kingdom and the United States through classic Hong Kong flavours.
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