Tea Infused Mulled Wine

I’ll admit that I’m not a wine drinker. I’ve tried to like it but I don’t usually find it tasty, especially red wine. Most of my drink recipes are made with whiskey which is what I prefer. However, I know that many of you like wine and I’ve always wanted to try making mulled wine so here we go!

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After looking at a lot of recipes, I realized most of the ingredients added are just to spice it up a bit. I don’t know much about wine but I do know that I don’t want to waste a really good wine by cooking different ingredients into it. I went to the store and bought a cheap bottle because I would be enhancing the flavor. Feel free to use whatever wine you like best for this recipe!

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I also noticed that most of the recipes have some sort of citrus in them. What I chose to do was to use lemon and then a citrus herbal tea. I used Tangerine Ginger from Rishi Tea that came in my Sipsby box. This tea has hibiscus flowers, orange peel, ginger root, citrus oils, licorice root and schizandra berries! Yum yum yum!

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I chose to use tea sachets for ease but If you want to use loose leaf, you have to strain the mixture anyway! I wanted to note that this could probably taste good with many teas but I chose an herbal tea because of the high heat. The wine is already potent and I think putting something like black tea in it might run you the risk of getting a bitter flavor.

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A few notes about making this recipe. I like to use honey and because of that I added the wine and honey in the pan first and let them mix a little bit. The heat should be on low the entire time. After I added all the other ingredients (except tea bags) I kept it on low with the lid on and just let it simmer. I didn’t really time it, I did it my aroma. Making this wine is delicious but it also makes your house smell so good!!!

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Once I felt that the aroma was strong I took off the lid and saw that the mixture was bubbling a little and everything was a bit darker. The cranberries had softened etc. This is when measured the heat of the mixture. My tea bags have the temperature set to 200F and so I made sure the wine was around that temperature then added in the teabags for 5 minutes. If your tea has a lower temperature, let the mixture cool a bit!

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Take out your tea bags, strain and serve in mugs! This amount of ingredients was enough for 2 large mugs and a little more. At a party, it would be best to use smaller mugs and this batch could stretch a bit farther. I also garnishes with fresh cranberries, lemon peel and cinnamon!

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Enjoy! Do you have a favorite mulled wine recipe?

Pomegranate Green Tea

Fall is coming and while most people are screaming for pumpkins ( l do love pumpkins), I’m over here like woooohooooo anar season! Anar is the farsi word for pomegranate! I grew up eating this delicious fruit and when I was in High School/College it started becoming more popular in the United States particularly for it’s health benefits. More popular = available more places so it’s a win win for me!

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I got this gunpowder green tea from Bare Leaves Tea Co in my Sipsby box and wanted to create a simple drink with it! I was thinking of fall flavors and decided to try it with pomegranate!

I decided to cold brew the tea. If you’ve never done this before it’s really simple! There are a bunch of ways you can do it but I like to take the leaves and run some warm water over them just to wake them up a bit. Then I place them in a container with water and let it sit overnight in the fridge! These leaves were probably steeping for about 12 hours. You can then drain and use!

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The drink is mostly made up of the cold brew tea, you should fill most of your glass with the cold brew and just top it off with the pomegranate.

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The pomegranate that is being added in is a syrup I made. If you want to make a large amount of syrup you’ll need to use more pomegranates but I combined the seeds of one pomegranate with 1/2 cup water and touch of honey. I let the mixture boil until the water was fragrant and had boiled down a bunch. Let the syrup cool before adding it into your tea!

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I took a few pomegranate seeds and placed them in the cup for decor and a little surprise at the bottom of the glass!

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I also left a few leaves in my cup for fun! I hope you enjoy it!

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Rooibos & Blood Orange Mocktail

It’s not technically fall, but I’ve been feeling the fall vibes with the cooler weather so I decided to start making it FALL in the kitchen hehe.

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When I received this rooibos + honeybush tea from tea pigs in my sipsby box, I knew I had to make a drink with it! The flavors of this tea are perfect for fall and after brainstorming a bunch I decided to keep it simple!

This recipe is as simple as brewing the rooibos and then cutting the garnish which is of course optional!

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You can either brew the rooibos hot and let it cool down or cold brew it! If you brew it hot, make sure you give yourself time to let it cool down. Brewing hot, use boiling water and brew for 5-7 minutes to make sure it’s strong. If you are using tea bags I would use 1-2 depending on how strong you want the tea flavor and 2-3 tablespoons loose leaf. If you want to cold brew, run a bit of warm water over the tea, then place it in a container with water (not hot) and place it in the fridge over night. The next day you can make the drink immediately!

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Ceylon Infused Old Fashioned

You may or may not be surprised but I infused my fav ceylon with my fav, bourbon! I then made an old fashioned because I needed a fancy drink that day! 

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Let me back up, the idea had always intrigued me but I was given the extra push by my friend Lu Ann from The Tea Cup Of Life who infused oolong into her wine! I saw it and thought how cool it was but how I didn't have wine nor did I really like wine. I decided that the obvious choice was bourbon and that why not infuse my everyday tea with it, ceylon! 

Something important to note, aromas are so important when drinking and the fact that my ceylon tea has bergamot oil in it, is a game changer!

I wanted to wake up the tea leaves before infusing the bourbon so I ran warm (not hot) water over them. You should be able to see just like with another black tea especially, some of the warm liquid showing color of the leaves. If the water is coming out of your strainer clear, turn up the heat of the water a little bit. 

 For comparison from left to right: Brewed ceylon, non infused bourbon, Ceylon infused bourbon

For comparison from left to right: Brewed ceylon, non infused bourbon, Ceylon infused bourbon

Next I simply put about a tablespoon of the leaves into the pot and covered it with bourbon. For a drink like Bourbon, I didn't use a lot of alcohol because it's not like wine where you can fill your glass to the top and drink it. I simply poured enough bourbon to cover the leaves. This also proves for a very strong infusion so if you want it less potent, decrease the amount of tea leaves. 

I left the leaves and bourbon to mingle all night and in the morning when I took a small sip, BAM ceylon flavored bourbon. I think that they two flavors paired well with each other and that's why it's so successful. I also think a puer would be ideal for a darker liquor like bourbon. 

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I had this strong infused bourbon and thought that it was perfect for an old fashioned. Throw some bitters and brown sugar in a glass then add the infusion! I decided to garnish it with a date because the normal orange rind would interfere with the flavors. Taking nibbles of the date between sips was also delicious! 

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Afternoon Meditative Ginger Tonic

Mocktail!

I love making tea cocktails but I also realize that not everyone drinks alcohol. I also realize that even if you do drink alcohol, sometimes it's nice to have a fancy drink. I received some meditative mind tea in my sipsby box this month and oh man, this is some of my favorite tea! 

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The combination of white tea, jasmine tea and rose buds and petals creates a lovely blend. The tea smells beautiful and has an all around calming nature. I decided that this would definitely make a great afternoon tonic but it needed a few things!

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I added ginger because I thought it would go well with all the ingredients and give it a little spice to help energize you. I also added a bit of honey to make is slightly sweet as you'd expect a fancy drink to be! The drink will be topped off with seltzer water to add some fun fizz to the experience! Finally, I added an orange peel garnish for fun but you can also dunk the peel in the drink and give it a little orange flavor as well!

Honey is totally optional and feel free to use whatever type of sweetener you'd like to suit your tastes!

I have this fun glass tea pot that I brewed all the ingredients in together so that they could mix well. You could use a tea pot of any type of bowl that can widthstand heat!

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This tea doesn't need to brew for more than 2-3 minutes. Feel free to let it brew a little longer for the ingredients to mix but not too much longer because the longer you brew the more bitter the tea may become. I did ginger slices but I think grating the ginger may give the drink even more of a kick! 

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After you strain the tea, make sure you let the tea cool before adding it to your glasses!

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I filled my glasses about 3/4 of the way with tea and then the rest with seltzer water and added a garnish on top!

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Homemade Bubble Tea!

Boba Box!

I've met some awesome small business owners ever since I started instagram and one those people, one of those people is Katie from K-teas! I was really excited when they announces a boba box. If you're unfamiliar with boba, you might know it as bubble tea!  

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Earlier this year, I ordered tapioca pearls from amazon and tried to make it myself but honestly the directions were a little confusing and they didn't come out well! I was excited to try this box because it comes with everything you need! 

The box includes: 

  • Easy to follow directions
  • 2 metal wide mouth straws
  • A large pack of tapioca pearls
  • Royal milk tea (classics bubble tea) and rooibos chai. It's nice that there is a caffeine free tea option available as well!
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In addition to cooking the pearls so that they become soft, you often soak them in simple syrup which gives them that sweet flavor. Simple syrup is essentially sugar and water but there are also directions to make simple syrup included. Instead of using sugar, I used honey to make my syrup and also put a few drops of this elderberry syrup just to mix up the flavor!

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After cooking the pearls, you soak them in the syrup. I left them in there for a little bit to make sure they soaked up the flavor. One note, you don't want to leave the pearls out too long though so I would suggest brewing the tea and letting it cool before you start the pearls so that the tea is ready once the pearls are ready. 

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Generally, bubble tea is served cold but it can also be served hot. I've had it both ways from our local bubble tea place and I definitely prefer cold. If you prep your tea and it's already cool, you can just add it to the pearls and you're done!

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I often get my bubble tea at the store without milk because generally I prefer tea without milk however, it's quite common to get milk. I added milk to one of my glasses and left one of them plain to show you the difference! The one with milk is filled up about 3/4 of the way with tea then filled the rest of the way with milk.

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I really like how the kit comes with TWO wide mouth straws that are reusable. You can see in the photo below that the straws are large enough to have no issues sucking up the bubbles as you drink the tea!

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Note: I cooked my boba a little longer than the recipe, just make sure that your boba had grown in size! Also, I left mine in the fridge all day to drink later but I think this is better enjoyed right away :) 

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Green Tea Cranberry Spritzer

Sparkling tea!

It's Christmas time and I have been so busy with the shop that I have been making recipes but not posting them! I recently got a bag of cranberries from my CSA and have been brainstorming about what to do with them. 

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I'm a huge fan of cranberries in drinks so I started to look at what I had in the house. I try to make my recipes with simple ingredients so that you can make them with things you probably have already instead of going out to buy a bunch of items. 

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I had cranberries, seltzer water and some clementines! The last thing I needed was to choose a type of tea. I wanted to chose something that embodies the christmas spirit. Lucky for me The Tea Spot generously sent me some of their lovely teas and one of them is a roasted green tea with peppermint! You can find it here  ! Peppermint is a classic christmas time flavor and with the addition of cranberries and citrus, it's perfect!

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Once you brew the tea let it cool and then let it cool all the way by putting it in the refrigerator! Once the tea is cool you can use it in the drink! 

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Seltzer always gives drinks a nice fizzy kick! If you are a cranberry lover I would suggest crushing up a few cranberries to add to the drink.

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I filled my cup up about 1/2 way with tea and 1/2 with seltzer but feel free to change these porpotions to however you think the drink will taste best!

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I mention in the recipe about adding some juice of the orange. I had a clementine on hand and squeezed half of one in each cup. You can add more or less based on your taste!

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Orange + Cranberries + Green tea peppermint + Seltzer water = AMAZING!! If you want this boozy, I think this simple combo would taste delicious with a variety of drinks!

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Darjeeling Hot Cocoa

Hot cocoa has so many wonderful memories and feelings attached to it. The most prominent one of course is winter time activities! I remember ever sledding adventure included going sledding for hours and coming back to the house soaked to the bone and freezing cold. My sweet mom would always have hot cocoa and marshmallows ready for us when we got back! 

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I've always been a fan of LOTS of tiny marshmallows vs. one or two large marshmallows. I did try a few times though to see if this hot cocoa scene from The Simpsons would actually happen LOL. 

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Hot cocoa has always been one of those things that never gets old. I've tried it so many different ways, but I've never tried it with tea! Tea and chocolate is a delicious combination so I knew it could only turn out well!

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I simply brewed some Yatra Tea Co darjeeling tea and that came in my sips by box and added it to my hot cocoa pot. I've always loved making it from scratch because the flavor was always better. 

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I added some spices to my mixture to jazz it up but they aren't necessary. The cinnamon is a must but not the nutmeg or cayenne! I added a bunch of marshmallows to mine but this mixture is good on it's own too!

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Remember that caramel sauce I made? It's the gift that keeps on giving because I added it to the top of these marshmallows....mmmm! I like that the darjeeling tea makes the hot cocoa have an even richer taste. 

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When it comes to cocoa powder, use a good quality one so that the flavor comes through well. I used 1/2 cocoa in my first batch and it was REALLY chocolatey. I would suggest using a little less if you want it to not be as strong OR you can add additional milk or tea!

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Yaupon Caramel

My lovely friends at Wight Tea Co. sent me their delicious new fall blend! Are you over pumpkin or just think it's kinda basic? Well, this is the perfect anti pumpkin drink! The rich flavor of yaupon, cinnamon and walnuts make this an incredible fall drink!

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This blend smells amazing and it took me a while to figure out what to add to them to make this drink. I started thinking about classic fall flavors like pumpkin, apple and then I remembered caramel apples are huge! I've always wanted to make caramel but admittedly had several failures!

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I searched for a recipe to use that was more like a sauce than hard caramel that would be easy to line the glass with! Check out this video that I used as a guide to make my caramel!

Easy Caramel Sauce

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The caramel is a great addition to the flavor of the tea and gives it a sweet taste! 

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I whipped up some heavy whipping cream with no sugar for the topping which makes this a spectacular sight and a great party favor!

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Pomegranate Tea Cocktail

Pom Tea!

I have so many fond memories of pomegranates. Growing up, they were always in our household. Although the pomegranate has only recently gained popularity in the United States, it is a central food in Iranian culture. The Pomegranate originates in the are of modern day Iran to northern India. 

The pomegranate has significant meaning in many cultures and to Iranians, it's a symbol of fertility and sometimes immortality due to it's health benefits. Pomegranate is used to make fruit leather, stews, stain fabrics and cloths etc. Pomegranate was one of my favorite things to eat growing up, despite always staining whatever clothes I was wearing. My sister and I always joke that there is no greater way of showing love than a parent who shucks a pomegranate for you. 

So yea, I kind of have a love affair with pomegranate and have wanted to use it in a recipe! I recently got some pomegranates in my CSA and started brainstorming on how to use them.

When I got my Sipsby box I had this fascinating tea blend by Leaf & Twig. Lavender and Mint. Let me tell you something about these two flavors, I love in all things except tea. Don't get me wrong I can enjoy tea with these flavors but they aren't my favorite. I love lavender bath products and I love mint ice cream but these aren't my first choices in tea so when it was time to come up with a recipe I was truly stumped. 

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This tea have lavender, peppermint, honeyroo and chamomile flower in it. I thought forever and ever about what to make and what flavors to use. When I can't come up with something I take a chance and do an experiment. I had a pomegranate and figured that the sweet & tart taste could provide a bit of oomph to this herbal blend. 

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I started thinking that a cocktail might be the answer but didn't want to taint these delicate flavors with alcohol. The tea blend is so pretty that I set out to create a fun, non-alcoholic tea cocktail to make when you're feeling fancy AND want to have a nice cup of healthy goodness. 

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The bigger your pomegranate the better (in general) and for this recipe. I used one of those hand held lemon reamers to get as much juice as I could from the pomegranate. Make sure to take off a few seeds for garnish before juicing. I added the juice to some fancy glasses as the base. 

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I strained the brewed tea and let it cool before adding it to these glasses so that the liquids could interact without changing each other too much. Mix up the tea and pomegranate juice and let settle before adding garnish. 

I was discouraged at first when the pomegranate seeds sank to the bottom of the glass. I've seen so many drinks that have the seeds as a garnish and they are floating so what the heck! I took a spoon and brought the seeds to the top and somehow they stayed! If your seeds sink, make sure to bring them to the top and they will stay on top or if you use ice it will be easier for them to float as well.  

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I set out to make a fun fancy drink and all I could think about this drink was MEH. Red on red. Seemed pretty lame. It was pretty in it's own way but needed something extra, some more color. I reached back into the tea tin and pulled out a bunch of these chamomile buds and placed them gently on top and BAM ! Cocktail transformation! The colors are so pretty and this drink looks like some expert mixologist made it, but in reality you are the expert mixologist! 

The pomegranate adds a nice sweet and tangy flavor to the min and lavender that is actually quite good! Enjoy! 

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