This is a very special week. TWO cocktails! No worries; Friday is sacred and a cocktail will be made and I’m already thinking it’s time for a Classic. But that’s for Friday Cocktails and today might ‘just’ be Monday but I’ve had a bit of an epiphany and with that a great summer libation to share with you. When I agreed to craft a recipe using Pure Leaf Tea I knew it was good timing; while not a hot tea drinker ever; I love iced tea and keep some handy at all times in the fridge during the warm months of summer. I usually stick to regular iced tea and just add fresh lemon and mint from the garden but I’ve grown very fond of the Pure Leaf Teas and have enjoyed a couple of varieties; most especially their Raspberry. I love it so much it is no longer assured that a pitcher of home brewed will be at the ready! Since it’s also that time of year when I especially love having friends and family over for barbecues in my backyard where I can share my latest cocktail creation, I decided to bring together my new favorite Iced Tea and a cocktail in this Very Berry Raspberry Iced Tea Spritzer.
That epiphany? The testing for this cocktail included pairing tea and vodka with fresh fruit; an idea that was new to me but thankfully no more. I’ll be honest, this was supposed to be a Raspberry Iced Tea Spritzer. No other berries. But, as fate would have it I’ve found one snafu with having my groceries delivered and that is substitutions. Who would have thought that raspberries would be out of stock and blackberries would be in my delivery; certainly not me. I’ve learned a lesson with this new-found service I love but I also think I could be a punter in the NFL; things don’t move forward as expected? It’s just a question of not giving up the ball. I had the blackberries that were substituted and strawberries already in the fridge…it was a no-brainer deciding it would be a Very Berry Raspberry Iced Tea Spritzer.
I’ve found from experience that I need to make mocktails a regular part of my cocktail making experience. Getting together with friends or family; it seems that someone in the crowd always needs to forgo alcohol. It’s much easier to plan ahead and serve something similar than have to think up something on the fly; check the Notes in the recipe section for how you can mock this cocktail!
First on the agenda? Ice. Now don’t tell anyone OK; but I NEVER use the ice from my freezer for cocktails. Nope. I buy my ice at Walmart because I like their quarter chip pieces, at Sprouts because they have a nice square smaller size and in the summer I’ll hit up Sonic for their crushed ice. No half moon cloudy ice for me! For this cocktail though I wanted something different and decided to make my own ice ball. I have a couple of different forms for making them and this cocktail was perfectly anticipated using one of them with fruit frozen inside. I had a couple of gorgeous big strawberries and it was simple; the deed was done and then? The WAITING!! Waiting for ice to freeze is just as hard as waiting for water to boil. Harder even…it takes a LOT longer. Still, freeze it finally did and I loved the end result. Beyond simply looking pretty, using a large piece of ice like this in a rocks glass is perfect. The ice melts much slower in the liquid than smaller pieces so it keeps your beverage cold without diluting it as quickly as cubes or chips would. Plus a strawberry? Winner!!
I’ll never claim to be a master mixologist or some similar title but I do think cocktail making is easy and I’ve seen several friends jump on the bandwagon with me. This was simple…I muddled fresh strawberries and blackberries in a cocktail shaker with lemon juice, lime juice and the orange infused vodka I made a couple of weeks ago. Next I filled the shaker with ice and the Lipton Pure Leaf Raspberry Tea. The tea is already sweetened; if you like a sweeter drink you could add some simple syrup too. I thought it was perfect without more sugar but I know my Southern friends and their propensity for SWEET tea…add more if you must! Shake, shake and shake some more until the shaker it almost too cold to hold and then after the mixture is strained into ice filled glasses, top with Chilled Italian Prosecco or Spanish Cava Sparkling wine. Stir gently, garnish with a lime wheel and provide a straw. Perfection.
The one thing I was not sure about as I started to gather the ingredients for this lovely cocktail was what color to expect from the end result; I’m not used to an ingredient the color of tea. I should not have worried; it was as beautiful as it was delicious. So why don’t you join me? Let’s celebrate with iced tea and a cold, fruity cocktail. It’s the perfect match on a warm summer day, promise!
Very Berry Raspberry Iced Tea Spritzer
- 4 oz orange infused vodka (in lieu of orange infused, use plain vodka and add a Tsp of orange juice)
- 1/2 oz lemon/lime juice (squeeze equal amounts of lemon juice and lime juice and combine)
- 4 medium strawberries
- 6 blackberries
- 3 oz Pure Leaf Raspberry Tea, chilled
- Chilled Prosecco
- Combine vokda, lemon/lime juice, strawberries and blackberries in a cocktail shaker. Using a cocktail muddler or a large spoon, 'smush' the berries together with the vodka and juices.
- Add the Pure Leaf Raspberry Tea to the shaker then fill it with ice. Shake 25-30 times until shaker is bitter cold. Strain mixture into cocktails glasses filled with ice.
- Top off berry/tea mixture with chilled Prosecco, stir gently and garnish with a lime wheel. Serve with straws (optional)
For a Mocktail:
Eliminate the vodka and increase the tea to 4 ounces.
Add one ounce of lemon/lime juice and 1/2 ounce of simple syrup.
Finish the cocktail with sparkling water instead of Prosecco.
Garnish with a lime wedge.
Pure Leaf is a premium iced tea brewed from real tea leaves picked at their freshest. For recipes, tea tips and daily inspiration, visit PureLeaf.com
Compensation was provided by Pure Leaf via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Pure Leaf.