It's that Mardi Gras time of year, and while the snow continues to fall up here in the mountains of Colorado, we love a good celebration and can always find an excuse to give you some delicious recipes for tea beverages! (And believe it or not, one of our local ski areas really does celebrate the occasion every year in the snow.)
Down south where the beads are really flying the go-to refreshment is sweet tea, which is black tea with plenty of sugar (or sometimes prepared with simple syrup — one part water and one part sugar boiled together and cooled). We're all about indulgence (it's called Fat Tuesday for a reason, no?), but we get it if your sweet tea needs to be a little less sweet. We found this recipe for Slightly Sweet Tea from Southern Living, which you can make with green tea, honey, orange and lime juice.
But should you want something a bit more potent, shall we say, we've got a recipe that's a marvelous mash-up of two legendary southern refreshments: sweet tea and mint juleps! Keep this recipe on hand for the Kentucky Derby (the first weekend of May is just over two months away, after all):
Sweet Tea Mint Juleps
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 Earl Grey sachets
- 1 (1-ounce) package fresh mint (about 1 cup)
- 1 1/4 cups bourbon
- 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
- 1 3/4 cups chilled sparkling wine
- Mint sprigs (optional)
Combine sugar and 1/2 cup water in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave at high 3 minutes, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add tea bags and mint to sugar syrup; steep 20 minutes. Discard tea bags and mint. Stir in bourbon and juice; chill. Pour tea mixture into a pitcher; stir in sparkling wine. Garnish with mint sprigs, if desired; serve immediately.
If Earl Grey is not your bag (ha ha ... tea, bag ... sorry), we encourage you to substitute our Organic Assam, or play around with this recipe until it's your cup of tea. Your cup of sweet tea! Don't worry, the blog's over now. Happy Mardi Gras, tea lovers!