There are definitely worse things I've had to do for work than mix up a few fruit cocktails using tart tea as a main ingredient. Many of you tea lovers would probably argue that what our small team does here at Two Leaves and a Bud Tea Company is already a plum gig — since it comes with an endless supply of tea and daily cuppings of new and (sometimes rare) tea varieties shipped from overseas. And you're right about that ... so for someone who loves a good tart, herbal tea and a cocktail now and then, today my own kitchen was a great place to be.
Have you met our three new tart herbal teas? Paisley Tarts are all complex blends of organic herbal teas using long lists of natural ingredients, rather than just "natural flavorings". Organic Tart Meyer Lemon, Organic Tart Blood Orange and Organic Tart Berry all stand out as palate-stretching, fruit-forward blends, and it didn't take us long to figure that if they paired so well with boiling water or with ice, why not try them with a few other ingredients like ... oh, I don't know ... vodka, sparkling wine, or tequila?
So I called my husband at 8:50 a.m. to ask him to pick up a bottle of rum on his way home from an early morning photography job (he sounded a lot less surprised than I expected him to, which worries me), and assembled various ingredients that would pair well with the Paisley Tarts. Besides the rum, I kept my ingredients to items I had in my kitchen and liquor cabinet, so that things wouldn't get too complicated for the average tea fan to whip up (I have a personal policy against ever buying a bottle of Angostura Bitters.) And what resulted are three herbal tea-based concoctions I would be happy to drink anytime (including breakfast, if we can be really honest about this for a second). Here goes:
Tropical Tart with Paisley Organic Tart Meyer Lemon
(This one includes making your own ice cubes with tea and raspberries, so it's bound to impress your friends)
- 4 cups boiling water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 cups pineapple juice
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup rum
- 2 cups raspberries
- 12 teabags of Paisley Organic Tart Meyer Lemon herbal tea
- Pour boiling water over Paisley Organic Tart Meyer Lemon herbal tea bags; cover and brew 5 minutes. Remove tea bags and squeeze. Stir in sugar; chill.
- In large pitcher, combine 2 cups chilled tea with remaining ingredients; chill.
- Meanwhile, in 2 ice cube trays*, arrange 3 raspberries in each compartment. Pour remaining chilled tea over berries. Freeze 2 hours or until solid. To serve, pour punch into large pitcher or bowl. Add tea ice cubes. Serve immediately.
Blood Orange Mimosa
(The sparkling wine could easily be left out of this one for a refreshing, extra-orange drink if you want to do brunch without the alcohol.)
- 1 medium orange
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 4 cups iced tea, made with Paisley Organic Tart Blood Orange herbal tea
- 4 lime wedges
- Sparkling wine
Cut the peel off an orange, including as much of the white pith as you can, and cut the orange into eight pieces.
Place the orange pieces in a small bowl and sprinkle the sugar over them. Muddle until no large chunks remain. Divide the orange mixture among 4 iced tea glasses (or champagne flutes). Add Tart Blood Orange iced tea to each glass.
Pour sparkling wine in each glass to top off; garnish with a lime wedge.
Minted Tart Berry Chiller
(Mint grows like crazy in my backyard, so I use it whenever I can. It gives a nice edge to this super-berry drink.)
- 8 cups water
- 3 cups raspberries
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint, plus leaves for garnish
- 6 tea bags of Organic Paisley Tart Berry herbal tea
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 cups silver tequila
- 1/2 cup Grand Marnier
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
- Ice as needed
- In a large saucepan over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Add 2 cups of the raspberries, the chopped mint and the Paisley Tart Berry herbal tea bags. Remove from the heat and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
- Remove and discard the tea bags and strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large pitcher. Discard the solids. Add the sugar, tequila, Grand Marnier and lime juice and stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
- Pour into ice-filled glasses. Garnish with the remaining 1 cup raspberries and mint leaves and serve immediately.
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