In our brand new April issue, we explore the Southern side of brunch, including a fabulous recipe for Sweet Tea Punch. But what makes Southern sweet tea different from regular iced tea? Only the way you order it. Traditionally in the north, if you were to order iced tea, it would come unsweetened. However, most southerners are drinking their tea sweet, and must specifically ask for unsweet tea if that’s how they prefer it. No matter your tea choice, there are plenty of twists and takes that will brighten your day, any time of year.
Try this recipe for Sweet Tea Punch at your next brunch or get-together, plus get our best sweet tea tips:
Sweet Tea Punch
9 black tea bags
3/4 cup honey
1/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 large bunch fresh mint
2 pints blood orange or regular orange sorbet
1 – 2 cups American whiskey, such as bourbon or rye
3 limes, sliced into rounds
In a large bowl, combine the tea bags, honey and sugar with 6 cups boiling water and stir until the honey and sugar dissolve. Let steep for 4 minutes. Discard the tea bags and add half the mint. Let cool completely at room temperature. Strain; discard the mint. Chill until cold, about 3 hours.
Add one scoop sorbet to each of 8 pint glasses. Top with 2 to 4 tbsp. whiskey and a few torn mint leaves. Divide the tea among the glasses, then top with a splash of soda water. Garnish each glass with a lime slice. Serve with a straw or a long spoon. Makes 8.
Tip: Classic Southern sweet tea is made with white sugar, but the combination of honey and brown sugar gives this version a richer flavor. Spike the punch with as mush whiskey as you’d like.
Tip: The tastiest way to make iced tea is to brew it with hot water–a steamy soak extracts more flavor. But it can also make your drink murky if the tea cools too quickly. For the best results–minimal clouds and maximum flavor–let the prepared tea come completely to room temperature before sticking it in the fridge.
Despite the recent country-wide cold fronts, spring is just around the corner (March 20th, people!). That means you’re going to need a fully loaded recipe repertoire that will put you in the mood for sunnier, happier times. Here’s a fast idea that’s sure to put a spring in your step: A Citrus Gin Spritzer. Fresh, fruity, bubbly and strong– it is Friday, after all.
Bottoms up, get the full recipe for Citrus Gin Spritzer here!
More Fast Ideas
Just because the Olympics are over, doesn’t mean your cocktail rims have to go back to being bare. With warm weather approaching soon, we’re getting ready for margarita season, and there’s always more than one way to top your tequila! Pair fruity margaritas with these new sweet and spicy rims, and you’ll have yourself enough margarita combinations to last you through spring!
1. Cantaloupe Margarita: Cinnamon & Sugar
Add sugar and spice, and this drink will taste nice! The warm heat of the cinnamon pumps up the mellow taste of the canteloupe.
2. Pineapple Margarita: Old Bay Seasoning & Black Pepper
This savory mixture may seem more at home in a bloody mary than on a margarita rim, but the black pepper and secret spices give the sugary juice a kick!
3. Strawberry Margarita: Cocoa Powder
One taste and you’ll swear you’re sipping on a chocolate-covered strawberry. How decadent does that sound?!
4. Cranberry Margarita: Sugar & Grated Lime Zest
Pucker up: This pairing starts out sour (thanks to a lime juice rim*), turns sweet, then finishes with a tart, cranberry-filled exclamation point!
*Tip: Dampen the rim with a lime wedge before dipping it into the mixture
Here’s a fun fact that’s sure to ease your Monday blues: It’s Mulled Wine Day! Mulled wine is a classic cocktail that’s perfect for these chilly nights. It’s spicy, sweet and just strong enough to warm you from the inside out. While we usually associate white wine with being chilled, here’s a mulled wine recipe that calls for pinot grigio. It’s light, spiced and just sweet enough, it may even make your Monday feel like Friday. Cheers!
1 (750ml) bottle white wine, such as pinot grigio
1/2 cup honey
1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced into rounds
8 whole cloves
6 star anise pods
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
Using a peeler, zest lemon. In a saucepan, bring zest and remaining ingredients to a simmer over medium. Remove from heat, cover and let steep 10 minutes. Makes 4.
National Margarita Day is a great excuse to enjoy our favorite tequila-based drink and remind yourself warmer weather is upon us! (Seriously, it has to be.) Rather than stopping by your go-to Mexican joint, mix it up and try a margarita recipe with a twist. These three cocktails put a flavorful spin on the traditional margarita, but still keep your taste buds in check with the holiday. Cheers to that!
Just two short days stand between you and the weekend, and even less time stands between you and happy hour. No matter what time your drinking activities begin, you should enjoy this blushing twist on a brunch classic: The Rosy Mimosa.
Not only do you swap out champagne for sparkling rosé wine, but also try using the juice of a Cara Cara orange, an extra juicy, low-acidity navel orange that’s pretty in pink. Here’s the full recipe:
1 part Cara Cara orange juice
2 parts sparkling rosé
Combine juice and rosé in a champagne flute and enjoy! Does it get much simpler than that? Cheers!
Did you know the fourth week of January is considered to be Irish Coffee Week? Neither did we. But now that we do, we no longer need an excuse to make and drink one of our favorite seasonal cocktails every day for the next 7 days. In order to keep it interesting, though, we’ve gathered some recipes with unique takes on the classic drink, including fun ingredients like peppermint and chocolate. So grab your Baileys and get to it!
Cheers to January!
It’s the day after New Years and if you bought a few too many bottles of bubbly, have no fear. While you’re more than welcome to mix champagne into Sparkling Bourbon Cocktails, Sparkling Negronis or Passion Fruit Fizz Sours, may we recommend you try something totally different by mixing it into sauces, sorbet and more! Try a few of our simple, sparkling ideas!
Vino-grette: Whisk equal parts leftover bubbly, OJ and EVOO with some grainy mustard, balsamic vinegar, sliced scallions and chopped basil. Season, then toss with greens.
Bubbly Cheese Fondue: In a saucepan, bring one part bubbly to a simmer and whisk in two parts shredded cheese until melted and smooth. Rub the inside of a fondue or other heavy-bottomed pot with a cut garlic clove. Transfer cheese mixture to the pot and season with ground nutmeg and salt. Serve with cubed bread.
Champ-pan Sauce: In a skillet, cook sliced onion in butter until translucent; add chicken and mushrooms and sauté until cooked through. Transfer chicken to a plate and add bubbly to the skillet. Stir in heavy cream, butter and chopped tarragon. Simmer until thickened; drizzle over chicken.
Spiked Sorbet: Make a simple syrup by boiling equal parts bubbly and sugar in a pan until reduced by half; refrigerate overnight. In a food processor, blend frozen berries and mangoes with a splash each bubbly and the simple syrup, scraping the bowl frequently. Freeze, stirring every 15 minutes, until firm.
Written by Daisha Cassel
They say how you spend your New Year’s Eve will tell you how you’ll spend the rest of the upcoming year. If you’re anything like us, you’ll want a New Year’s Eve full of good food, friends, and of course, luck! We’ve found a way to fulfill all of your hopes and dreams for the new year: Make, share and drink cocktails that’ll bring you good luck!
In Spain, eating 12 grapes as you count down the seconds to the new year is a common good luck tradition. Rather than stuff your mouth full of grapes, try this Sparkling Grape Cocktail.
Europe in general considers eating 12 round fruits before New Years good luck. So drink up your luck with this Pink Grapefruit Martini, too.
Pomegranates are considered good luck in Turkey, because their red, bloodlike color denotes life and fertility and their abundant, round seeds represent prosperity. The fruit is also eaten during the Jewish New Year to ensure that one’s merits increase as abundantly as the pomegranate’s seeds. Get your fix of prosperity by way of Tangerine-Pomegranate Sparklers.
Cheers, and happy new year!
Because the holiday gatherings deserve better than the stuff in the carton, we’re sharing our favorite recipes for Eggnog! Just start with our classic recipe for Bourbon-Vanilla Bean Eggnog, then can change it up…two different ways!
Change it up based on the Bourbon-Vanilla Bean Eggnog: In Step 1, whisk 1/2 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread and 6 tbsp. cocoa powder into the egg yolk-sugar mixture; substitute brandy for the bourbon; omit the nutmeg. To serve, moisten the rims of 8 glasses with water, then dip them in 1/2 cup finely ground hazelnuts Fill the glasses with ice and then the eggnog. Garnish with dark-chocolate shavings.
Change it up based on the Bourbon-Vanilla Bean Eggnog: In step 1, substitute 1 cup canned cream of coconut for the 1/2 cup sugar and spiced rum for the bourbon; omit the nutmeg. Pour into glasses and top with scoops of coconut sorbet or ice cream. Sprinkle with large flakes of toasted coconut. Serve with spoons.