If you haven’t fallen for tea-based cocktails (a.k.a. "tea-tails") yet, now’s the perfect time to get acquainted with this buzzing—pun totally intended—trend. Not only do we see them popping up at some of our go-to N.Y.C. spots like Middle Branch and DBGB, we’ve also been eyeing them at our local gourmet grocers as well. And now, there’s a new book on the loose featuring oodles of recipes for you to make your own dreamy concoctions at home.
This week, Jennie Ripps and Maria Littlefield—the masterminds behind Owl’s Brew, a company that specializes in award-winning tea-based mixers—released their first book, Wise Cocktails: The Owl’s Brew Guide to Crafting & Brewing Tea-Based Beverages ($15; amazon.com). Inside, you’ll find an array of recipes designed to please everyone, from the green-tea-gal to the floral enthusiast. And as an added bonus, Ripps and Littlefield highlight the health benefits that come with each delectable blend.
Take this Rosemary and Thyme cocktail, an ideal beverage to sip as the seasons change: Rooibos is filled with hydrating electrolytes and immunity-boosting antioxidants, while the blend of herbs and fruit contain nutrients that aid with digestion, say the authors. And if you want to make it alcohol-free, no sweat: Just replace the booze with sparkling water to turn this refreshing libation into a mocktail that’s a surefire hit with kids and adults of all ages.
Rosemary and Thyme
For the tea base:
8 oz water
8 oz sugar
1 ½ tsp green rooibos
½ tsp dried rosemary
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp dried lemon balm (If you can’t find lemon balm, use ¼ tsp combination of lemon zest and mint leaves)
For the tea soda:
1 oz. tea base
1 oz. vodka or gin
6 oz sparkling water
Rosemary spring for garnish
1. To make a simple syrup, pour the water into a pan and bring it to a boil. Once the water boils, immediately stir in the sugar until the mixture is clear.
2. Place the green rooibos, rosemary, thyme, and lemon balm directly in the pan with the simple syrup. Remove from the heat.
3. Let the mixture sit for 1 hour, stirring from time to time. Use a tea strainer (or fine mesh strainer) to strain out the added ingredients. Let the mixture cool to room temperature.
4. Pour 1 oz of the tea base-infused syrup and vodka or gin into a glass over ice. Stir and top with a splash of sparkling water. Garnish with a fresh rosemary sprig.