Even though it has cooled down a bit outside my apartment it is approximately one billion degrees inside my apartment and since installing the air-conditioning unit in the window is a two person job, my only option to stay cool is through the old fashioned way: cocktails.
Half and Half’s, Arnold Palmers, iced tea and lemonade – however you know them – are pretty much the best thing ever. With gin? Even better.
My iced tea habit started early on. Growing up – and in the month of August when it was actually warm enough outside – we would make sun tea in the afternoon. My dad would fill a large glass pitcher with water and I would get to add the tea bags. I couldn’t carry it out to the deck because when it was filled it was too heavy but I’d sit there all afternoon in the sun just watching as the dark streaks would fill the pitcher with glorious sun tea. I couldn’t wait for it to be ready to pour over ice and take a sip.
You want to know what is more boring that watching paint dry? Watching sun tea be made.
I guess my impatience began at a young age.
Which is why I made black tea simple syrup. I am also without deck and I don’t think my neighbors below will appreciate when I start precariously perching pitchers of sun tea on my fire escape.
Black tea syrup has all the benefits of iced tea flavor but (bonus!) has the sweetness built right in. Perfect for stirring into a summer cocktail.
You could most definitely skip the gin. But this is the kind of cocktail that lends itself perfectly to the tip of a bottle. Just be careful because you can’t exactly taste the booze. You don’t want to turn your afternoon backyard picnic into a rager.
Or maybe you do. I won’t judge.
Sparkling Black Tea Lemonade Cocktail
Makes one cocktail
1-2 spoonfuls black tea cocktail syrup (recipe below)
1 ounce gin
3-4 ice cubes
Cut lemon in half, slice off one round for a garnish and squeeze the juice from both halves into the bottom of a tall glass. Add a few spoonfuls of black tea cocktail syrup. Tip in some gin. Add ice cubes and fill the rest of the glass with soda. Stir well. Garnish with lemon and a fancy straw.
Black Tea Cocktail Syrup
Makes about one cup
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup water
5 bags black tea
Combine brown sugar and water together in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has melted. Remove from heat, add tea bags and cover. Let steep for an hour or two. Discard tea bags, transfer to glass container, and store in the fridge until ready to use.