Blueberries Bourbon Black Tea

Blueberries, Bourbon, Black Tea

Every summer about this time I start to feel just a little bit of melancholy. I love summer, but as I lounge by the pool sipping something light and fruity I can’t help but feel like I’m missing something. Some important part of my life that’s either been misplaced or somehow forgotten. But what could that be? So I lazily swirl the pisco in my punch, or rumble the rocks in my rum-filled tumbler trying to pinpoint just what’s lacking in my life. That’s when it hits me. I miss bourbon. So I make a list. A list that will help me transform bourbon into a poolside seasonal sipper. Perhaps something reminiscent of a fruity, boozy iced-tea. Blueberries Bourbon Black Tea.

Bourbon is not the first spirit I reach for when I’m craving a lazy poolside cocktail. For some reason I associate the dark spirits, like bourbon, with cooler weather. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact the Mint Julep is an icy bit of bourbon perfection served in silver chalices. I think I’ll update my wish list to include Blueberries Bourbon Black Tea and Mint.

Blueberries Bourbon Black Tea and Mint.

Blueberries Bourbon Black Tea. I once had a sangria that featured those flavors at Frankies Spuntino in NYC and I’ve carried the memory of that particular flavor combination around with me ever since. I’m assuming that I probably came across that sangria in the summertime. Sangria is a summer drink, and I like sangria. But I want the darker notes of bourbon and black tea to shine in this poolside beverage. So I’ll cut down on the wine that makes Frankie’s version a sangria, and add a lot more tea. Making it appropriate to serve my warm weather bourbon cocktail as long tall sipper in an iced tea glass. GREG

Blueberries, Bourbon, Black TeaBlueberries

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Teatime Blueberry Bourbon Cocktail

Ingredients

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 12-15 fresh mint leaves (lightly crushed to release oils)
  • 2 cup fresh blueberries (divided)
  • 2 cup strong black tea (chilled or at room temperture)
  • 2 cup bourbon
  • 1 cup sparkling rosé wine (plus more for topping)
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 6 long sprigs mint (as garnish)

Directions

Make the mint syrup: Stir together sugar, water and mint leaves in a small saucepan set over medium-high heat. Heat the mixture, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. Lower heat to a simmer and continue cooking until a syrupy consistency is achieved, about 5 minutes more. Remove from heat; let stand 30 minutes.

Prepare the cocktail: Put half the blueberries into the bottom of a 2-quart or larger pitcher. Use a cocktail muddler or wooden spoon to break up the fruit. The resulting pulp should be lightly mashed into various sized pieces, but not completely pureed. Strain the prepared mint syrup into pitcher, discarding the mint leaves. Add tea, bourbon, 1-cup sparkling rosé and lemon juice to pitcher. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours and up 24 hours. Don’t skip this part because the flavors really deepen and the color really develops.

To serve: Stir the cocktail well to distribute the blueberry pulp, then quickly pour the cocktail (including the pulp) into long, tall, ice-filled iced tea glasses. Top each with a splash of sparkling rosé. Garnish with mint sprigs and remaining blueberries.

The raw blueberries photo appears courtesy of my editorial partnership with Shutterstock.


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