Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tea-Infused Spirits

I thought it only fitting to follow up my last post in which I declared that I was never drinking again with a fun-with-alcohol post today. I've moved on (quickly).

It's nice to have all my foodie friends out on the town eating and drinking so that they can alert me to any inventive goodness that is out there in the world. Guestblogger Alita did just that when she told me that she was at a local Minneapolis restaurant were she had a tea-infused cocktail--Earl Grey Vodka and Lemonade to be exact, and I loved the idea straight away.

These infusions couldn't be easier to make. The alcohol doesn't need to be heated to extract the tea and only requires a couple of hours to infuse. They can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for quite a while so would make an interesting and easy special cocktail for a friendly gathering.

Along with making the Earl Grey Vodka, I also combined hibiscus tea with tequila. The vivid red color is absolutely gorgeous. Look for an herbal tea such as Red Zinger or any berry flavor -- the main ingredient should be hibiscus which is what you want. Don't use cheap booze here. The flavors of the alcohol need to be smooth and crisp so the tea can shine through.

For Hibiscus Tequila:
  • 1 cup silver tequila
  • 2 hibiscus tea bags (red zinger, berry, etc)
For Earl Grey Vodka:
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 2 earl grey tea bags
Pour the alcohol into a sealable container. Add the teabags, cover, and set aside for a couple hours, giving it a gentle shake from time to time. Remove the teabags and store the alcohol, covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Arnie Palmer Vodka Cocktail:
In a cocktail shaker combine 1 ounce earl grey vodka, the juice of 1 large lemon, 2 teaspoons (or more to taste) sugar, and a couple large ice cubes. Shake vigorously for 20 seconds or so and then pour into a highball glass filled with ice. Top with soda water, stir, and garnish with a lemon slice.

The easy version of the cocktail above requires a shot of the earl grey vodka along with good, store bought lemonade. Done!

Pineapple Hibiscus Cocktail:
In a cocktail shaker combine 1 ounce hibiscus tequila, 1/2 an ounce Triple Sec, 4 ounces pineapple juice and several large ice cubes. Shake together well. Pour into a chilled martini glass, with a sugar/salt rim and garnish with an orange twist or a pineapple wedge.


#1 Crafty Fan said...

Welcome back to the land of debauchery!

Mika said...

Those sound great! I'm always up for a new cocktail! ;)