This Friday is National Tea Day, and in celebration of that, I’m collaborating with fellow blogger and Instagrammer Elin Lawrence from Travel Food Cool, to bring you several posts about cocktails with tea as one of their ingredients. The Blueberry Tea Cocktail is a drink that’s served hot, and even though we’re in the middle of some very warm weather here on the East Coast I decided that was where I wanted to start for the week. What fascinated me so much about this particular cocktail was that it has absolutely no blueberries or blueberry tea in it. It’s made with Orange Pekoe tea, which is totally unrelated to oranges, but is rather a grade of black tea based on the size of leaf and its location on the tea plant. That’s the Pekoe part of its name. The Orange part comes from the fact that it was imported for the Dutch royal family in the 1600s who were also referred to as the House of Orange. The Blueberry Tea Cocktail is a version of a hot toddy, a drink that’s generally made from a mixture of a base spirit, spices, hot water, honey, and lemon. In this version, the tea is substituted for the water, honey, and lemon component, and amaretto liqueur and Grand Marnier comprise the base spirit and contribute the spice. Since Grand Marnier is a cognac based orange liqueur, I was very excited to be able to once again use the Mandarine Napoléon from Friday’s post in its place. When these three ingredients are combined together, the flavor of the drink somehow becomes reminiscent of blueberries. I had to try it because I needed to taste this phenomenon for myself and it turned out to be 100% true. I served in a stemless brandy snifter that had a narrow opening at the top to trap the fragrance inside, and I garnished it with an orange wheel because I liked the way it looked floating on top. It was warm and comforting, which some of us welcomed yesterday since we’re fighting off scratchy throats from allergies, and it did indeed taste like blueberries!
Elin’s post for today covers British Afternoon Tea at the Goring Hotel in London, and she’ll also be posting her own cocktail recipes made with tea this Thursday. Her blog is a fantastic blend of her travel experiences, fabulous food recipes, and delicious cocktail creations that I really enjoy. She writes on Mondays and Thursdays. Be sure to follow her!
Blueberry Tea Cocktail
Stir the 2 liqueurs together in a brandy snifter and then add the hot tea. Swirl the glass to incorporate the flavors. Garnish with an orange wheel. Enjoy!