This fun recipe for a spiced tea cocktail takes this classic summer beverage and jazzes it up for the grown-ups by adding a splash of vodka and vermouth and some spices. Cool and lemony iced tea never tasted so refreshing!
I am all of the sudden on a fresh summer cocktail recipe writing kick, to the extent that the Southern daughter said I am now officially a mixologist, in her book anyway!
I know next to nothing about making traditional cocktails (what’s in a cosmo again?) but I am always up for taking some cool summer drinks and adding, shall we say, an adult spin on them? And that is how this spiced tea cocktail was born.
Here’s how you make a perfect spiced tea cocktail!
I started off by making a spiced up version of water laced with simple sugar. Simple sugar is simply (ha!) sugar that is mixed with water and simmered on the stove until the sugar is dissolved. It’s a staple part of many of my other cocktail creations, but in this case I added a little ground ginger and cinnamon because I wanted to zing up the iced tea part. Iced tea + spices = spiced tea!
Now I am a serious, three cups a day tea drinker (the non-spiked kind) so I went right to my favorite tea for this next part, and those are PG Tips. I’ve had every kind of tea you can think of, and I keep coming back to this lovely blend of just the top leaves and buds of the tea leaves. They come in little triangle-shaped teabags that they say lets the tea move around more while it is steeping. Whatever is going on, it makes a dang good cup of tea.
Anyway, you are going to take the spiced simple sugar water and dunk whatever teabags you are using into that hot liquid for exactly three minutes, and then take ’em out. Do NOT squeeze them as that will let make your spiced tea cocktail a little bitter, just take them out, thank them and toss them out.
Now! Put your tea mixture in the fridge until it is cooled off – we are going to serve our cocktails over ice, but we don’t want the ice to melt too fast. 30 minutes or so should do it. In the meantime, get out your cocktail shaker (here’s mine!) and if you don’t have a cocktail shaker, a jar with a lid will do just fine.
When the tea mixture is cool, pour half of it into your shaker along with 3 ounces of vodka, a tablespoon of sweet vermouth, and a shake of orange bitters (optional but good!). Add a generous amount of ice and shake shake shake!
Now fill two glasses with ice and strain your spiced tea cocktail mixture over the ice and add a piece of lemon peel just for the prettiness. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, and you now have 4 gorgeous glasses of spiced tea cocktail. I can pretty much guarantee this one of the ways you are going to want to celebrate anything that needs celebrating this summer.
Speaking of, you know who was not impressed with the recent celebratory July 4th fireworks?
Except for the fact that this is the one night a year she is allowed on the people bed where it is safe. Well, that and any time there is a bad thunderstorm. Because we are all about the puppy love in our house.
Back at the cocktails, do you have any summer libations that I need to know about? Tell me in the comments!
Want to round out your meal? This recipe pairs well with...
This fun recipe for a spiced tea cocktail takes this classic summer beverage and jazzes it up for the grown-ups by adding a splash of vodka and vermouth and some spices.
- 3 cups water
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 tea bags (PG tips are my fave)
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 6 ounces vodka
- 1 ounce sweet vermouth
- 2–3 dashes of orange bitters (optional)
- Lemon peel (also optional but very fun and picturesque)
- Combine water, sugar, ginger and cinnamon in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally. Simmer until reduced by half.
- Strain the sugar mixture into a heat-proof measuring cup (hello Pyrex!) and if you have less than 2 cups, add hot water until you have two cups of liquid.
- Drop in 3 tea bags and steep for 3 minutes. Take out tea bags without squeezing them. Trust me on this.
- Put the sugar and tea mixture in the fridge until room temperature or ready to use.
- Put half the tea mixture, half the lemon juice, half the vodka, half the vermouth, a shake or two of bitters and lots of ice into a cocktail shaker and shake shake shake for about ten seconds.
- Pour over ice into two glasses and add a twist of lemon peel. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Feel very happy and refreshed.