sparkling black tea lemonade cocktail

June 1, 2012

I have had the house to myself this week which means that I’ve been able to catch up on long overdue lady dates with friends, make and eat too many salads, and watch TV that I would already be watching alone – but at least I don’t have to share the couch.

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 lemon
1 ounce gin
3-4 ice cubes
soda water

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.


{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar June 1, 2012 at 9:52 am

Awesome! This sounds super fabulous!


Julia (Color Me Green) June 1, 2012 at 10:06 am

i never thought of making tea simple syrup. neat idea. do you know what else goes really well with the tea and lemon cocktail combo? mint!


Eileen June 1, 2012 at 11:11 am

Guess who will be making these in Texas this weekend? This lady! And it might just turn into a rager… 😉


Eileen @ Ham Pie Sandwiches June 1, 2012 at 3:43 pm

Ok, so I’ve gone through a pitcher and a half of ordinary iced tea already this week–this sounds like Exactly what I want to drink now that it’s the weekend. Thanks for the great idea!


Melody Scott June 1, 2012 at 7:40 pm

I am in love with this idea, and it sounds, dare I say it, relatively low calorie. Days get hot here, and a cool icy tea drink with gin sounds like a pretty amazing way to break the heat. Thanks for this, I’ll be sharing a pitcher with friends soon!


Talley June 3, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Summer seems to find us for a day and then melts into a few days of rain and grey. This is certainly the perfect beverage for a steamy hot day, but I think it might be just as nice enjoyed on our balcony while we watch the rain pelt down. Just because it’s raining doesn’t mean it’s not summer, and we’ll have spiked half-half to prove it! Wonderful post.


Alanna June 4, 2012 at 9:04 pm

This sounds delicious! I imagine the bitterness of the tea is heavenly with the sweet, lemony gin. Oddly, it is cool and rainy (!) in the bay area today, but I’m all over this when it heats up again (in October) – sounds super refreshing. A bartender friend of mine was just talking about making an earl grey infusion for use in cocktails, but black tea simple syrup is pure brilliance! And you MUST check out this post for “Arnold Palmiers” from Food For The Thoughtless, if you haven’t already (palmiers made with lemon zest and ground, black tea!):


Dija,Msia June 5, 2012 at 5:01 am

Been browsing and strolling your blog since yesterday!
Oh Dear, you made me print a thick pile of recipes to try on! and of course you deserve to be awarded the winner Best Baking & Dessert blog award!! Congrats.
Hope to see loads from you in future….


Riley June 8, 2012 at 8:47 pm

White chocolate is so underrated. These look soooo good! I’m so hungry!


aaron | inSeeds December 14, 2012 at 12:32 am

I concur with Dija, you deserve to be awarded! Oh wait…

This is a wonderful sounding idea! I will make it, check back in, and report.

I am consistently discovering new concoctions for my Soda Stream and you have filled another mid-summer night’s, er…you get it.



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