In the South, you can’t have a garden party—or any summer get-together, for that matter—without sweet tea. This is a sweet-tea-based cocktail with a kick of white whiskey. The white whiskey has a smooth, clean flavor, perfectly suited to a daytime cocktail. For the tea, we use Harney & Sons, but any orange pekoe tea will work.
In the summer, the easiest brewing method is to combine the tea and water in a large glass jar or pitcher, cover the top, and leave it in the sun for a few hours. If you don’t have time to make sun tea, you can of course pour hot water over the tea bag. Or, if you have a cold-brewing device, you could put it to use in this recipe. After making a great deal of iced tea in our restaurants, we’ve discovered a couple of tricks for optimal flavor. We suggest a ratio of 1 ounce bagged tea to a gallon water. When we remove the tea bag from the water, we never use our hands, because it can lend an unpleasantly bitter flavor to the finished tea. Instead, we use tongs or a slotted spoon. And we never squeeze the bag back into the tea when we remove it, as we find that also causes bitterness.
We’ve served these cocktails in plastic stemless wineglasses from Govino, which are great for a large party, as they don’t break and can be washed and used again. And if a few glasses do happen to wander off, they’re easily replaceable. However, for a smaller crowd or a slightly more formal event, you could use real stemless wineglasses, highball glasses, or mint julep cups.–Anne Stiles Quatrano
LC Hmmm Note
Hmmm. Southern sweet tea. Whiskey. Lemon juice. Sounds suspiciously like a summertime take on a hot toddy to us. Not that we’re complaining, mind you.
Sweet Tea Cocktail Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 5 M
- 5 M
- Makes 2 cocktails
- 6 ounces (3/4 cup) brewed orange pekoe tea, cooled
- 3 ounces (1/3 cup) whiskey (preferably American Spirit white whiskey)
- 1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) Simple Syrup
- 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 lemon slices, preferably organic, for garnish
- 1. Combine the tea, whiskey, Simple Syrup, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously.
- 2. Strain the cocktail into 2 glasses filled with fresh ice. Garnish each with a lemon slice.
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Sweet Tea Cocktail Recipe © 2013 Anne Stiles Quatrano. Photo © 2013 Brian Woodcock. All rights reserved.
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