Tuesday, June 2, 2009
A Summer Sensation-- Lemongrass Mint Gin and Tonics
Tea Forte Cocktail Infusions
Summer’s here. “Time for a G and T,” I say.
My husband, Jay, makes a great Tanqueray and tonic. Like every mixologist, he starts with gin over ice and tops it off with tonic water. But then-- he squeezes a section of fresh lime into the cool liquid, letting the tart and tangy juice add some zip. After that, he runs the oozing fruit piece around the glass lip before plunking it into the cocktail. Swizzle a little and you’ve got an outstanding mixed drink.
Just recently I came across a new product which offered a twist on tradition and some experimental fun—Tea Forte cocktail infusers; a method to combine an extraordinary blend of tea with alcohol.
The product comes in a three-inch colorful pyramid shaped box. Each package contains a similar shaped tea bag, topped with a tiny signature leaf. Honestly, this is the most elegant tea bag I have ever seen. In fact, the packaging is so pretty, you want to put them on display.
Place the tea infuser in your hi-ball glass and pour two ounces of alcohol over, letting it brew or steep- as strong as you prefer. I let my mixture turn a golden amber color.
Next, add ice, a little simple syrup (mixture of water and dissolved sugar) and some tonic. Wish I’d had a spring of mint to garnish, but I used a lime instead.
On my first sip I noticed the tea flavor, an unusual but delicious citrusy ice tea taste. On the second sip, I picked up the mellowness of the gin, a fine, smooth blend producing a perfect summer refresher. And by the third sip, well… I was hooked on this refined make-over for an old favorite. Surprisingly delightful.
I removed my infuser before drinking, but the label suggests leaving it in for an intriguing conversation-starter garnish. How fun is that??
Jay said the tea bag would be way too fou-fou for men, but thought that guys might enjoy the tea-alcohol combination. For a true test, I need to make up a pitcher and serve them to guests around the pool. My guess is the icy concoction would be a hit.
According to Tea Forte’s literature, the infuser I used is a blend of lemongrass, spearmint and lemon myrtle. Alternative alcoholic beverage creations include Wild Mint Mojitos and a Bali Breeze.
The company also offers Lavender Citrus and Silkroad Chai blends. I’m going to try the Cosmo de Provence next because I’m headed to France. But really, do I need an excuse?
The Cosmo is made using an infuser with white tea, lavender, lemon balm and bergamot. When the tea bag is steeped in vodka, a dramatic violet color appears (watch for an upcoming post-- I will take photos.)
Cheers to happy hour. Turn a dull afternoon into something extraordinary. Cocktails with tea for me!
Check out the website: www.teaforte.com.