Freelance journalist with a passion for theatre, the arts, food and books.
Published July 16th 2020
New tea-based alcohol and virgin cocktails
When the temperatures soar, there's supposed to be nothing more refreshing than a cup of tea. And for those put off by the idea of a hot drink in summer heat, an award-winning British tea company has concocted a creative range of delicious ice tea cocktails.
So, when you are ready to cool off, consider these innovative, scrumptious recipes for iced tea and cold brew infusions by independent tea maker Bird & Blend. They range from a Blue Raspberry Unicorn Fizz to an Iced Key Lime Pie.
Designed to be served chilled, Bird & Blend has shared its latest tea cocktail creations, which use teas starting at £3.20. They can either be poured over ice or steeped in cold water for a mellow and refreshing flavour.
This is another creative move by the company has been leading the way in British tea innovation since 2013 and selling its tea infusions around the world. It has already become known for its wide range of independently made creative tea concoctions, blended with ingredients including herbs, flowers, fruits, caramels and chocolates.
Here are five of its latest ice tea recipes to have a go at home:
Peach Soda Margarita
This is a mouth-watering, fruity combo filled with apple pieces, hibiscus, cardamom, rose petals, freeze-dried peach and orange peel, making it perfect as a cocktail base
It involves using Bird & Blend's Peach Soda tea with its sweet peach and delicate rose flavours to make this the ultimate iced tea.
You'll need some of Bird & Blend's Peach Soda Tea for the cocktail
What you will need:
3 Tsp Peach Soda tea A sprinkle of sugar A sprinkle of salt 1/4 of a lime
A dash of rose water
25ml peach gin (or any peach liquor)
Optional: If you'd rather make this a mocktail, replace the alcohol with 50ml of peach juice
What to do:
· Brew your Peach Soda tea in 200ml of boiling water and steep for 4 mins.
· Freeze 150ml of your concentrated tea in an ice cube tray and reserve the remaining 50ml.
· Once your ice is set, sprinkle a little bit of sugar and a little bit of salt onto a shallow dish. Run a little piece of lime around the edge of a rocks glass and dip the rim in the sugar and salt mixture.
· Into a cocktail shaker, add about 6 of your tea-infused ice cubes, your remaining 50ml of tea concentrate, a dash of rose water, a big squeeze of fresh lime juice and your tequila. Shake it all up!
· Pour your shot of gin (or peach liquor) into your rimmed glass and top with the full contents of your cocktail shaker.
· Stir the cocktail together, garnish with a slice of lime and enjoy in the sunshine!
A home-made attempt at a Peach Soda Ice Tea Cocktail
What you will find is a lovely vibrant colour to sip at as the sun goes down.
Strawberry Lemonade Iced Tea
This Strawberry Lemonade drink comes filled with real strawberry chunks, tangy lime leaves and zesty orange peel. It's easy to see why this fantastically fruity infusion is a best-seller and an award-winner.
Bird & Blend's Strawberry Lemonade Iced Tea is made from loose Strawberry Lemonade tea and makes for a delicious and refreshing sparkling drink, perfect for the whole family. For an extra special touch, serve in champagne flutes or make a pitcher for your summer party.
· Brew your Strawberry Lemonade tea for at least four minutes. Sweeten with sugar or honey if desired.
· Strain and place in the fridge to cool. Alternatively, you can put the steeping tea in the fridge overnight for an extra-strong taste.
· When ready to serve, pour 1/2 tea, 1/2 sparkling water over a glass full of ice and garnish with slices of lemon and strawberries.
· You can also make this a tipsy cocktail by adding 50ml of vodka or gin.
· Stir well and enjoy!
Blue Raspberry Unicorn Fizz
The Blue Raspberry tea is a blend of Chinese Sencha green tea, freeze-dried raspberry pieces and butterfly blue pea flowers, which magically turns the cuppa naturally bright blue. Add a squeeze of lemon to transform this into a mystical unicorn brew.
Something magical for the weekend? Maybe a unicorn fizz
· Start by brewing your Blue Raspberry tea in 150ml of 80° water for 3 minutes. You can easily achieve this by adding 1/5 of cold water first to 4/5 of boiling water (no need for any fancy technical kettles!).
· Leave to cool in the fridge if you wish. At Bird & Blend HQ, we cold brew our teas overnight to make concentrates: simply add the tea to cold water and steep overnight. It's as easy as that!
· Pour your brewed tea into your cocktail shaker and add a cup of ice. Add a few drops of vanilla essence, a teaspoon of honey and shake. If you don't have a shaker, simply add the tea to a glass of ice.
· Pour into your glass, top up with sparkling water and give it a good stir.
· Squeeze a wedge of fresh lemon into your drink and watch the tea magically change colour!
You can use a tea infuser too to prepare your ice tea cocktail
Iced Key Lime Pie is a decadent dessert in a glass.
Bird & Blend's Key Lime Pie Tea is not only refreshing and zesty, it's naturally caffeine-free.
What you will need:
3 tsp Key Lime Pie tea
150ml boiling water
100ml apple juice
Cocktail shaker (optional)
What to do:
· Start by brewing your Key Lime Pie tea in 150ml of boiling water for 4 minutes.
· Leave to cool in the fridge or steep overnight for a stronger flavour.
· Pour your brewed tea into your cocktail shaker and add a cup of ice with 100ml of apple juice and 2 wedges of lime. Squeeze the juice into the tea before putting the wedges in, then shake!
· If you don't have a shaker, don't worry you can simply add the tea to a glass of ice.
· Pour into your glass, top up with lemonade and give it a good stir!
A Regular Ice Tea
Brewing an iced tea is easy: simply add a few scoops of your chosen Bird & Blend tea to boiling water and leave it to steep for a few minutes before chilling in the fridge.
Then, pour over ice and enjoy in the sunshine.
To create the ultimate cold brew, steep your chosen tea in cold water for 4 to 6 hours. This will result in fewer tannins and a delicate flavour.
Bird & Blend was set up by Krisi Smith and her partner Mike, who had both spent years working in the tea industry. The couple started the business in their bedroom, packing tea and attending markets to sell their exciting creations.
Building the brand from scratch, Krisi and Mike now have a growing team and a thriving online store that sells their range of over 70 loose leaf teas worldwide. You can view more at the Bird & Blend website here.