(10 seconds each to read and are almost that quick to prepare)
By Lisa Messinger
Food and Cooking at Creators Syndicate
The best kind of spring showers are wet, not from sprinkles of rain, but the pouring of innovative cocktails at bridal and baby showers. Tea infused into cool cocktails is a refreshing, delicious treat and a healthful addition.
Haley and Lauren Fox, the sisters who dreamed up Alice's Tea Cup, New York City's hottest tea emporium, when they discovered their second location came with a liquor license, let their imaginations soar. Their recipes are easy to emulate at home.
A usually mint-filled white rum mojito gets a jolt from a Moroccan mint tea simple sugar. A berry martini, transforms into a "mar-tea-ni,," as they've renamed it, boldly flavored with berry tea along with white cranberry juice and vodka.
Bellinis, juleps, brandy chais and other cocktails also get the treatment.
Be creative, the sisters advise, too, in inventing your own combinations, as tea only intensifies the other flavors it touches.
Here are some of their additional ideas to get you started. All of the adult beverages would be served on the rocks to have the iced tea effect. As you can see from the recipes that follow, both the amount of tea you use and the amount of water you use for brewing make a difference in the nuances of the gourmet outcomes.
- Brewed rose tea leaf concentrate in vodka cocktails
- Brewed mango tea leaf concentrate in orange juice-champagne mimosas
- Brewed ginger tea reduced simple syrup in grapefruit vodka cocktails
- Brewed peach tea reduced simple syrup in a champagne bellinis
- Brewed lavender tea within gin cocktails
- Brewed fruit tea with tequila
Fun fare like this also proves food preparation can be easy, nutritious, inexpensive, fun - and fast. The creative combinations are delicious proof that everyone has time for creating homemade specialties and, more importantly, the healthy family togetherness that goes along with it!
Another benefit: You effortlessly become a better cook, since these are virtually-can't-go-wrong combinations. They can't help but draw "wows" from family members and guests.
Moroccan mint simple syrup:
3 heaping tablespoons Moroccan mint tea leaves
1 cup boiling water
1 cup sugar
Ice, to fill a cocktail shaker and to fill a tall glass
2 ounces white rum
2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
1 fresh mint sprig, for garnish
1 splash seltzer
1 lime wedge, for garnish
Yields 1 cocktail; simple syrup yields enough for 4 cocktails.
To prepare simple syrup: Steep the tea leaves in the 1 cup boiling water for 3 minutes. Then strain the tea into a small bowl, discarding the leaves.
Add the sugar and stir until it has completely dissolved.
Refrigerate until cool. (Do not use the simple syrup in a cocktail until it has cooled completely.)
To prepare cocktail: Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour in the rum, lime juice and 2 ounces of the mint simple syrup, cover, and shake vigorously.
Fill a tall glass with ice and add the mint sprig. Strain the liquid from the shaker into the glass and top off with a splash of seltzer. Garnish with the lime wedge on the rim of the glass.BERRY "MAR-TEA-NI"
2 heaping teaspoons mixed berry or single berry tea
1/4 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon hibiscus tea (or use one additional teaspoon berry tea instead)
Ice to fill a cocktail shaker
2 ounces (preferably premium) vodka
2 ounces white cranberry juice
1 lime or orange wedge, for garnish
Yields 1 cocktail.
Chill a martini glass.
Steep all tea in the 1/4 cup boiling water for 7 minutes. Then strain the tea, discarding the fruit. Cover the tea and refrigerate until cool. (Do not use in cocktail until it has cooled completely.)
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the vodka, tea and cranberry juice. Cover, and shake vigorously. Strain the liquid from the shaker into the chilled martini glass. Garnish with the citrus wedge on the rim of the glass.
-Recipes from "Alice's Tea Cup: Delectable Recipes for Scones, Cakes, Sandwiches, and More from New York's Most Whimsical Tea Spot"
. QUICK TIP OF THE WEEK: Mindy Segal
wants you to turn your cookies from ordinary to extraordinary. In "Cookie Love"
, Segal, James Beard
Award-winning chef and owner of Chicago's Hot Chocolate dessert bar
, twists recipes and techniques for a true standout in a sea of decades of cookie contender cookbooks. For instance, you are not just making peanut butter cookies, but crunchy, delectable peanut brittle cookies. Infused sugars are a tasty trick used in other recipes, such as lavender or citrus sugar.
at Creators Syndicate is a first-place winner in food and nutrition writing from the Association of Food Journalists and the National Council Against Health Fraud and author of seven food books, including the best-selling The Tofu Book: The New American Cuisine with 150 Recipes
(Avery/Penguin Putnam) and Turn Your Supermarket into a Health Food Store: The Brand-Name Guide to Shopping for a Better Diet
(Pharos/Scripps Howard). She writes two nationally syndicated food and nutrition columns for Creators Syndicate and had been a longtime newspaper food and health section managing editor, as well as managing editor of Gayot/Gault Millau dining review company. Lisa traveled the globe writing about top chefs for Pulitzer Prize-winning Copley News Service and has written about health and nutrition for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, Reader's Digest, Woman's World and Prevention Magazine Health Books. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com.