We are a very small family here at two leaves tea company — very small. Perhaps you didn't know that on a day when our office is considered very full in Basalt, Colo., that means seven people are at work. Seven!
So word travels fast when just about anything happens. The other day, I was seeking more recipes for a fruity iced tea drink when our lovely customer care representative and graphic girl, Lindsay, chimes in. It seems her boyfriend's mother takes our Alpine Berry herbal tea and "doctors it up" into a fruit bomb of an iced tea drink. "GET ME THAT RECIPE!" I barked at Lindsay. (Not really. I asked her to e-mail me.)
Here's where I have to pause to ask you: How do you feel about winging it? I wing lots of things in my life. Writing this blog, accessorizing, raising my children. I do not wing cooking, almost ever. I'm a crazy recipe follower. I believe that if I'm not following a recipe, it's probably not going to taste great. Or good.
So the e-mail I received from Lindsay with her boyfriend's mother's recipe for her magical Alpine Berry Iced Tea made me panic a little – I’m not going to lie. Here’s how it read (as written by Lindsay, after asking Deb Knight):
“She has an iced tea maker, so she just pops the 1 oz. Filter Bag into it and lets it brew.
Meanwhile, she packs (I mean packs to the brim) a pitcher full of ice, sugar and the fruit. She squeezes two to three lemons and one to two oranges into the pitcher, then cuts the lemons and the orange and throws them into the pitcher. Occasionally she will also toss in some raspberries and strawberries to change it up from time to time.
Then she adds the hot fresh brewed iced tea to the pitcher and serves!”
I know why you think I’m crazy — it’s because this recipe is not that difficult. But like some people who are reading this blog, I do not own an iced tea maker, therefore I use sachets of Alpine Berry to make the tea, rather than our 1 oz filter bag. What am I supposed to do about that? I took a deep breath and gave it some thought.
“It’s tea, not rocket science,” I said to myself after several minutes. “If you’ve learned anything by making a bunch of fruity iced tea drinks this summer, it’s that tea plus fruit plus ice equals yum, and it’s hard to mess up. Get a grip.”
So, I made a single serving (I wasn't going to subject anyone else to a possibly failed experiment). I used two sachets of Alpine Berry in one mug to make extra-strong herbal tea, because I knew I’d be diluting it with ice. I surveyed the fruit I had in my kitchen, and ended up putting two slices of orange, a slice of lemon and cut up strawberries in a glass, taking a fork and mashing the heck out of them in a pint glass. (I don't own a tiny baseball bat with which to "muddle" things. If you do, you qualify as a mixologist in my eyes.)
I then filled that glass up with ice, dumped my super strong brewed Alpine Berry herbal tea in there, put in a spoonful of sugar, stirred the heck out of that baby and took a sip.
And oh man, it was good. The typical berry zip of Alpine Berry, with an extra citrus twinge from the lemon and orange, and a juicy strawberry on the side.
So I'm here to tell you to wing it. Wing it! Try Deb's Alpine Berry Sangria, as I named it moments later while sitting on my front deck with my feet up, marveling at the ruby red drink in my hand. (And if you want to make it a more true sangria with some triple sec, wine or vodka or something, I salute you. Lesson of the blog post: Wing it!)
Cheers to summer and not-your-average iced tea. And thanks to Deb Knight for sharing your creation! Check out the other recipes we've posted this summer:
Have any of you ever doctored up some of our tea, and gotten delicious results?