Teas and infusions lend themselves perfectly to summer drinks, as a base for a long iced tea cocktail, making as a syrup to add to a drink or to infuse into a spirit.
Have a go!
1. Go with a reasonably good quality spirit as cheap ones will still taste astringent after infusing.
2. A good ratio is four tablespoons of tea per 700ml bottle of spirit.
3. Steeping times can vary, but an hour or so will be good if you are using tea; we did a lovely Blue Lady Mar-Tea-Ni that we infused for just over an hour. Infusions like rooibos or fruit infusion are best left overnight to get a good level of flavour .
4. Add the loose tea directly into the spirit, shaking or stirring occasionally. When it's ready to use, double strain the infusion and you're good to go.
We lean towards gin or vodka based summer tea cocktails, mainly because we like gin and vodka, but also because they seem to suit the more citric and berry flavours which we both enjoy. I think if I was going to try out darker spirits such as rum then I would try out the more nutty or spiced flavoured teas such as Orange Blossom Oolong, Chai or perhaps a Lapsang would be interesting.
Simple syrup is always good to have on hand for summer. It's basically liquid sugar, a little goes a long way and it's often a great addition to iced drinks.
1 part water
1 part sugar
1. Use equal amounts of water and sugar and bring to the boil on the hob.
2. Reduce to a simmer for a few minutes , stir and when the sugar has dissolved, leave to cool. Pop it in an airtight container and it will keep well for weeks in the fridge.
Any tea will work, when in doubt just go with your favourite tea. Earl Grey's a great summer one.
100ml cup water
4 teaspoons loose leaf tea.
1. Heat water in a saucepan on the stove. The temperature the water should reach will be determined by what type of tea you use here.
2. Remove from heat and add in your tea loose leaf to infuse for 3 - 5 minutes.
3. Once the tea has fully steeped, strain the loose leaves and return saucepan to stove, add the sugar and bring to the boil on the hob, reduce to a simmer, stir and when the sugar has dissolved, leave to cool. It will store well for weeks in an airtight container.
If you're doing a long punch type drink, make up a concentrated tea by using two or three times the amount of tea that you would normally use so it will hold its flavour when you add juice, lemonade, spirit or ice. Brew as you would usually and store in the fridge.
4 heaped teaspoons ceylon tea
Simple sugar syrup
1. Bring fresh water to a rolling boil in a kettle and brew your tea to taste, usually 3 to 5 minutes.
2. Strain and when cool pop into the fridge. When ready to serve, pour into tall glasses, top with ice and sugar syrup to taste, add your soda, lemonade or juice and spirit if using.
Don't waste your tea! If you've got some brewed tea spare then always great to keep a ice tray topped up so you can have some tea ice cubes to hand.
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