My husband and I were planning a trip with friends recently, when I was charged with an important task: Bring something “fun” to drink. Always one eager for a challenge, I made it my mission to make the cocktails I was to prepare on this trip more intriguing, better tasting and more attractive than ever before. Looking at my pantry, inspiration struck: Two Leaves and a Bud Tea. With more robust flavors, and profound hues than other teas, I knew Two Leaves would do the trick. My plan involved infusing two vodkas, one with Alpine Berry Herbal Tea and the other Organic Assam Breakfast Black Tea. After a few hours of letting three tea sachets steep in two small bottles of vodka, the tea’s colors and flavors had made their mark.
I began by mixing a classic cocktail of soda and lime with the Alpine Berry vodka. There was a hint of tart berry flavor upon taste and a light but lovely pink hue to the vodka that looked great when presenting the drink. Then I created a simple champagne cocktail by placing two or three sugar soaked raspberries to the bottom of a champagne glass, one shot of the infused vodka and covered these two ingredients with champagne. It is a beautiful, festive and strong drink for spring and summer.
The bitter element of the black tea worked well with the two drinks I made: a Sunday Bloody Sunday (that’s just a Bloody Mary that I mix on Sundays) and later in the day I had Sunday Tea – the Assam vodka with additional brewed tea, lemon, honey and mint. The Bloody had a nice kick to it thanks to the infused vodka, but to be honest, I didn’t need the vodka in my afternoon tea with lemon, honey and mint. Why mess with an already perfect (non-alcoholic) beverage?
One indication that tea-infused vodkas are becoming increasingly popular is last year Absolut Vodka introduced Absolut Wild Tea – vodka infused with black tea from China and a touch of Scandinavian elderflower. Some people have been known to mix this with a lemon/lime soda like Sprite, Sierra Mist or Mountain Dew, but the possibilities are endless.
As for my concoctions, there are so many teas that could be substituted for the Alpine Berry and Assam such as the Pomi-Berry and Earl Grey. I am dying to infuse some other spirits so that I can experiment with the peppermint and green teas from Two Leaves and a Bud. My next research project may include Tropical Goji Green tea-infused sake. Who knows where this tea inspiration will take me!
Do it yourself!
- To infuse your vodka with Two Leaves and a Bud Tea, take a bottle of your favorite vodka, add tea (either in bag or loose), let steep for at least 3 hours. Remove bag(s) or strain tea from vodka.
- To make the Alpine Berry infused vodka soda: Add one part berry vodka over ice, to two parts soda. Squeeze lime wedge into drink and serve.
- To make the champagne cocktail: use one shot of Alpine Berry infused vodka, add either raspberries that have been placed in sugar overnight, or with a shot of raspberry liqueur such as Chambord. Fill remainder of glass with champagne. Garnish with mint leaf if desired.
- To make the Sunday Bloody Sunday: Simply replace your traditional vodka with Assam-infused vodka, add Freshie’s Hot Mary Bloody Mary Mix, garnish with olives, pickles and/or celery.
- To make the Sunday Tea cocktail: add Assam tea-infused vodka to a tea cup. Pour additional hot tea into cup, squeeze one-half of a lemon wedge, one teaspoon of honey and two mint leaves into cup. Serve hot.
Those are our tips for making your own tea-infused cocktail. What tea-infused cocktails have you tried in the past, and what did you think?