Sunday, August 3, 2014

Mmm-mm, good!

A few months ago Mrs. Drang picked up a pair of these drink maker/infuser pitchers at membership warehouse. In case you don't want to click the link, the set is two half-gallon pitchers, plus one "tea infuser" and one "fruit infuser."  The infusers screw into the lid; the idea is that you fill the tea infuser with loose tea, make tea, then swap it for the other infuser full of sliced fruit and herbs and whatnot and infuse your tea with other flavors.

Of course, you could fill the pitcher with wine and use the fruit infuser to make sangria.  Or fill the pitcher with water -- or vodka -- and make another kind of infusion.

I decided I wanted some "grown-up iced tea", what with temperatures holding in the 80's.  (Hey, in Western Washington that's grueling!)

The first batch I used the bags of "Tropical Medley" tea that came with the pitchers.  (They want you to use their tea, of course, but I'm not sure how economical that would be. OTOH, our local grocery store doesn't carry loose tea!.)(!) I made too much tea, and had to pour some off. Then I added bourbon, and put a sliced lemon and some mint in the infuser. This was more-or-less their recipe, except for the fact that I didn't exactly measure anything...

Not bad.

For the next batch -- effectively simultaneous, I had two pitchers to work with -- I made a batch of raspberry iced tea using Keurig K-Cups, added Chambord liqueur and vodka, and in the infuser I put some chopped up raspberries.

This one was a little more to Mrs. Drag's liking, although based on how long the pitcher lasted it might be sort of "situational".  Plus, I was winging it...

When Mrs. Drang was shopping for loose tea, as I mentioned above, she couldn't find any; instead, she bought some Lipton Cold Brew tea bags.  Each of these are supposed to make a quart of iced tea, and, as the name implies, don't need hot water to do so. I'm sure purists will object, but it tastes like iced tea, and is easier, so until they prove there's a health impact, I'm fine with this.

Anyway, current recipe is more-or-less:
  • 1.5 Quarts Tea (I've been brewing it strong, but, you know, to taste...)
  • Lemonade mix, suitable for making two quarts of lemonade (I.e., tub of Crystal Lite, scoops of Country Time, etc.)
  • 2 cups booze of your choice. 
  • Infuse fruit and herbs to taste.
The first batch of this I used vodka.  The second used gold rum. I haven't used any fruit, just some mint from the garden "muddled" with a bit of agave nectar, which may give it a little more sweetness. Although I keep eying the jar of "nuclear cherries" that was put up a couple of years ago and pondering the possibilities...

It's pretty simple.  It's pretty tasty.  It's pretty.... Damn it! My glass is empty!

Okay, now that disaster has been averted (mmmm!) you obviously don't need a "Drinks Maker 4-piece Pitcher Set" to do this.  Herbs can be put in a tea ball to infuse.  Fruits (or vegetables, I guess, if that floats your boat, so to speak) could be floated freely, or put in cheese cloth, to facilitate retrieval.  After all, sangria is usually served with free-floating fruit, like we did last year at Gun Blogger Rendezvous.

But it sure is refreshing after a hard, hot summer's day in The Salt Mines.

1 comment:

NotClauswitz said...

I believe that cold-brewed tea is actually better, just less convenient than hot-brewed - because it leaches-out fewer acids and tannins that make tea bitter.
You miss-out on the Ghengis-Kahn effect of boiled water that prevents bacterial funk, but not everybody rides around the steppe on shaggy horses conquering villages anymore either.