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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Orange Chai Bourbon

I'm back with another Owl's Brew Raddler drink recipe! This one has a little bit of a kick! The raddler used in this recipe is a seasonal one called Short and Stout. The stout is blended with Chai spices, coconut and pineapple. YUM! I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned my beer preferences before but I'm a stout lover, and a chai lover so this flavor was made for me!

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You're probably like UGH she is using Bourbon again?! Let me tell you why though! Besides being a total unabashed bourbon lover, it goes well with so many flavors! The spiciness of chai specifically goes well with bourbon in my experience. 

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This is a super simple recipe but has an important step that I think unlocks all sorts of flavors. To start the drink off you want to add the orange slice FIRST then pour the bourbon over the orange. When you let these two sit for a few minutes they are getting the chance to know each other better and mixing their flavors up :)

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HERE'S THE MOST IMPORTANT PART! Take a spoon, muddler or whatever you can find and mash that orange and bourbon together!!! Not only are you mixing the flavors but the pulp gives the drink an extra punch and more texture. 

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An orange garnish is perfect for any orange lover who wants to squeeze a little extra juice in their drink. 

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All these flavors go really well together and the bourbon gives it a kick! When Mr. Tea Thoughts tried it he said, " It tastes like fall in a cup!" Enjoy your orange chai bourbon fall in a cup! 

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Apple Cider Blondie

Owl Cider

I'm back with another Owl's Brew recipe! I loved the apple cider recipe I made last time and decided that it would taste delicious with The Blondie ! 

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You can check out my Apple cider recipe here. I made a few changes to it to suit my needs. First, I didn't add any green tea, I used 2 very large apples so that I could yield a smaller batch and I didn't put ginger in with the cloves and cinnamon! Instead of fresh ginger in the apple cider, I used a ginger liqueur in the cocktail! 

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All of the flavors are absolutely delicious together! The ginger liqueur gives an extra punch to the raddler and the apple cider. The added cinnamon stick for garnish actually adds a lot to the taste as well!

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I don't have a lot of measurements on this recipe and here is why: do it to your taste! I would only advise against using too much of the liqueur because then it might turn out too sweet! I also used smaller glasses but porportions can be changed when using a larger glass!

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I made the ginger liqueur the least amount in the drink, then the apple cider, and most of the drink was the actual raddler because it has such a wonderful taste!

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Don't forget to mix everything up! 

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One last note, in my apple cider recipe I talk about how the apple cider tastes best hot. For this recipe I think it's best to cool the apple cider all the way before adding it to the drink. Enjoy! 

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Beer, tea & tequila cocktail

BeerTea!

I find all sorts of fun brands through instagram and I was so excited to come across Owl's Brew which combines beer & tea! I was at a total wine & more and came across this flavor that combines amber ale, darjeeling hibiscus, strawberry and lemon juice. How could I resist?!

Just a little background, I actually enjoy a good beer so the thought of combining beer and tea was really exciting for me. They have a stout coming out in October with chai and I can't wait to try that one too!

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After some thought, I decided that the black tea and lemon would be a great combo with tequila. I also wanted to add a little spice so I included some ginger liqueur as well. The great thing about this cocktail is that you should make it one cup and you can control how strong or weak you want the drink to be!

I suggest using equal parts tequila and ginger liquer so that you get both flavors but it's not too strong. 

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Once everything is in the cup just fill the rest of the cup with the Owl's Brew! The majority of the drink is the Owl's Brew so it's bubbly and sweet!

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I really like the taste of these flavors combined especially because the Owl's brew has the distinct taste of beer AND tea. 

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The lime garnish is a great addition to give your drink an extra kick if you'd like!

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This is a super easy drink and could be made into a pitcher as well if you have a larger party. 

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Do you have a favorite tea cocktail?! 

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Jasmine Sangria

FruTEA. 

Summer time means lots of fun drinks and although I'm not the biggest fan of wine, I knew it would be good to make a sangria with this jasmine tea from Just Tea. That came in my sipsby box.  

I love that this tea combines the purple tea and jasmine with cornflower blossoms. The cornflower blossoms make the tea so beautiful! 

In my recipe I talk about choosing 3 fruits. I chose peach and blueberry and then cherries for the garnish. I also later threw in a bunch of cherries as well. Soaking the fruit in the ginger liqueur gives the sangria more depth in it's taste. I chose the ginger liqueur because I thought that ginger and fruit are a delicious pair and ginger is also a versatile flavor when it comes to making cocktails. 

I took a trip down memory lane when I chose vinho verde for the wine. As I've discussed I'm not much of a wine drinker but I do enjoy bubbly drinks. Vinho Verde is definitely bubbly. In college, my roommate and bestie introduced it to me and I fell in love. Sometimes we would make excuses to stay in instead of going out and share a bottle while watching movies. I have such wonderful memories of vinho verde and that's why it had to be what went in the sangria!

In my directions I talk about putting in the fruit first but in this photo that's not what you see. This was just a lesson learned after making the sangria. The order of the fruit doesn't matter too much but it's better to put the majority of the fruit into the pitcher when it's empty so that you avoid lots of splashing!

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After the entire bottle of wine is poured into the pitcher, you can top it off with a little extra ginger liqueur for taste if you'd like or perhaps add a drop or two to each glass you pour. 

If you want some guidance on choosing fruit, I would say that of the 3 that I used the peaches were the best. They soaked up the flavor so well and it was easier to fish out the pieces to enjoy. The blueberries were also good and cherries as well but If I created this again I would probably substitute the cherries with raspberries!

What fruits would you choose?!

Green Tea Passion Fruit Champagne Cocktail

Tea Crystals.

What the heck are tea crystals?! I didn't know either! Pique Tea reached out to me to try their tea and I was intrigued! I've probably mentioned that I'm somewhat of a loose leaf snob but am always willing to try new things! Before I received the tea I checked out the process and guess what? To get these crystals, the tea is in fact brewed from loose leaves! Read more about their process. 

I think it's really cool that these crystals are made from actual brewed tea and are able to keep in the benefits and flavors of the tea. Although, I like to enjoy my tea slowly and in places where I don't have to rush, these packets are perfect for people who want tea but can't make the time or for traveling! I also think that these packets make tea more accessible to people and I'm all about spreading the love for tea!  

You're welcome to brew this tea with hot or cold water, I used cold water because I didn't want to wait for the hot tea to cool down. If you're making these for a party I would also suggest cold water so you can make these drinks right away! Once the water hit the crystals, they start dissovling.

I'm not sure if I've ever discussed my process but I do a lot of flavor brainstorming before I create a recipe. I think about the flavor and what I've had it with and what I've liked it best with. I also think about dishes I like and wish there was tea in! I've had many passion fruit flavored things but I'm not sure I've ever eaten a passion fruit by itself so I had to do a little research about what flavors pair well with it. 

In my research, I concluded that raspberries and champagne were a great combo for this tea! I did not sweeten this drink but if you like sweet drinks, simply add honey or sugar to the tea or the finished drink! 

You can kind of play around with the amount of tea vs champagne in this drink. I made mine slightly boozier by adding more champagne than tea. I was thinking that if you had frozen raspberries you could even use those to make this drink even cooler!

This is a super simple cocktail and I think it's great for a party! Pique Tea is affordable and has green and black teas, you can check out their flavors here!