Everything’s better with a boozy kick, and alcoholic boba is no exception. Let’s dive into the brand-new world of alcohol-infused bubble tea.
The latest bubble tea variety
In just a few short decades, bubble tea has become one of the most popular beverages around the world. This drink got its start right here in Asia, allegedly at a small tea stand in 1980s Taiwan. There, the owner began mixing tea with fruit flavourings to get the edge on her competitors. Surprisingly enough, the name ‘bubble tea’ didn’t original come from the tapioca pearls it’s now famous for. It actually came from the bubbles that formed in the tea when the flavourings were shaken in. Tapioca bubbles weren’t added until the mid-1980s, when café owner Liu Han-Chieh brought the pearls to Taiwan’s attention.
Since then, the world of boba has blossomed into hundreds-if not thousands-of variations. Singapore has been filled with bubble tea cafés for years, but only now are boba aficionados venturing into the best addition so far; alcohol. Boba may be great already, but a little kick of booze makes it even better.
The boozy brewing process
Alcoholic boba starts off just like regular bubble tea. First, the café makes the tapioca pearls. Tapioca flower, sugar, and water are mixed together and rolled into tiny balls. Then, those balls are boiled until they reach a soft and chewy texture. Then, the brewer makes the tea of choice. This is where alcoholic bubble tea differs from its sober counterpart. Instead of making regular tea, alcoholic tea cafés create unique tea cocktails with different spirits and liquors. Once the tea is suitably boozy, the maker adds a generous heaping of boba pearls and the drink is good to go.
Which mix suits you?
The great thing about alcoholic boba is that, just like regular bubble tea, it comes in tons of variations. Many of these are based on actual cocktails. Pina colada bubble tea, for example, may combine green tea with pineapple juice and white rum. Other variations are completely new and innovative, such as lychee fruit tea combined with gin or taro milk tea mixed with tequila. How you take your alcoholic boba is completely down to your tastes.
Where to drink it
This brand-new trend has just hit the market, so you may have to wait a while before your favourite bubble tea delivery chain begins offering it. In the meantime, why not play mixologist yourself and add a splash of alcohol into a regular boba drink? Try making a tropical cocktail by adding rum to passion fruit tea from Share Tea, or add cocoa liqueur to a traditional brown sugar milk tea from I Love Taimei for a grown-up chocolate milkshake.