Coming to a wine shop or restaurant near you: Sparkling White Jasmine Tea

Local response has been favorable. Datz Deli now sells it by the glass and by the bottle, and numerous other chic restaurants like Renaissance Vinoy and Ocean Prime are considering its addition to their cocktail and/or wine lists. Yes, wine list. The company feels their beverage deserves a place next to Mumm, Dom Perignon and Schramsberg. Golden Star recommends serving it in a flute glass, to preserve the bubbles and to concentrate the aromas.


But with this sophistication comes a sophisticated price -- it retails for around $15 for a 750-ml bottle. Try it and see if you think a palatable, non-alcoholic alternative is worth this kind of money.

Tea is hot. Riding this wave is a marketing-minded team in California who fermented organic Chinese jasmine tea and bottled up its bubbliness. But here's the kicker: Even though it's fermented, it's non-alcoholic. It's only after fermentation that the Golden Star Tea Company adds organic cane sugar to make the grog palatable to the masses.

For an alcohol substitute, it's pretty darn tasty. Consider your hangover-avoidance options when at a bar: soda, water (sparkling or flat), and, um, juice. Not too exciting. Something fizzy and flavorful might just be the ticket. Fragrant with flowers, White Jasmine tastes vaguely like mellow, sweetened green tea but slightly earthy and much more delicate.

Mixologists and sommeliers in New York and San Fran have received it well, shooting the fancy fizz to popularity. The New York Times even reviewed it.

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