Saturday, August 03, 2013

It just means summer to me.   I am pretty sure I've blogged about it during previous summers, but I love this stuff, and the crappier it is, the better it is.   There isn't an ingredient in here that's actually found in nature, and if I ate a spoonful of it straight, one of my eyes would screw shut and my teeth would vibrate for a good few minutes.  But when it's really hot out and I am dying for something sweet and summery, it's all I can think about taking out of the cabinet.  By August, it's got weird clumps from the wet scoop and I don't want to look at it, but come next June, it's time to buy another. If you are in the market, just grab the biggest cheapest can you see and it will be perfect.

The question this time was what to mix it with.  Ibisco (the bottle at right)  is a hisbiscus liqueur that the liquor store guy found for me.  He's figured out this whole BabyCocktails thing and likes to help me out with fun bottles of stuff that may lend itself to new sweaters.  (which in itself is a little hilarious, but kind of awesome, and I do have a Blue Sky Alpacas sweater this fall that's going go perfectly with this, so he scored with this one.)  Ibisco is a little like a St. Germain or a Cointreau, but it's not as sweet, and the hibiscus is kind of springy, if that makes sense.  It's good.

I'd paired my Ibisco with gin and grapefruit already, but the tea requires I make an entire pitcher.  So, when few friends stopped by last night I decided to set it up and we had a little taste test.  I made a hibiscus iced tea buffet with either bourbon or vodka, and the vodka won by a large margin.   We decided that bourbon is meant for real iced tea, with actual tea flavor.  With that in mind, you can probably make this with bourbon if you like, but substitute the crappy tea for some of the real stuff.   For all you vodka fans, the crappy mix tea is just right, since vodka goes really well with actual sugar flavor.
The recipe is below:

Sweet Tea Cocktail

2 oz of vodka
.5 oz of fresh lemon juice
.5 oz of Ibisco (or a whole oz, having made this a few times now...)
2 shakes of lemon bitters
lemon wedges
Pitcher of Ice Tea

The way to do this is to make the giant pitcher of iced tea, and get your ingredients out.  Pour the vodka, lemon juice, and Ibisco into a tall glass.  Add the lemon bitters and a lemon wedge to each and stir.   Add ice cubes.  Pour tea into glass over ice and stir again.  Enjoy!  We had these on the back deck after a day at a friend's boat club and it was kind of perfect.


JoannaCos said...

Oh man, I'm bonkers for instant tea too! We're not from the south but "real" brewed iced tea continues to be an institution in my family. I remember my grandmother always had a pitcher brewing on the counter. Heck, my mom even brewed sun tea in the summers. For dinner, at holidays - sweetened iced tea with a wedge of lemon - that's all anybody in my family drank. Bleck! Don't get me wrong, hot tea is great in winter. But when it comes to summer, I needs me some good old powdered red dye and artificial lemon flavor over ice. THAT's refreshment!

Thea said...

Exactly! I do love the real stuff, but come summer, I seriously want this, no matter how bad it is!

Anonymous said...

Is something missing from the recipe?

.5 lemon (half a lemon, 1/2 tsp???)
.5 of Ibisco (half the bottle, 1/2 oz????)

janna said...

So you're saying the liquor store guy actually knows you design sweaters to be hand-knit, and name them after various kinds of liquor? I love that! On the other hand, despite the fact that I lived in Texas for 20+ years, I hate sweet tea of any sort (although I love iced tea "straight"), so I think I'll pass this recipe by....

Ashley said...

Oh! I love this. I need more trashy tea in my life.

I just tried a beer this weekend with hibiscus, rose petals (I think?) & rose water in it called Baudelaire Beer by Jolly Pumpkin. If you like hibiscus (and I know you like beer) I would definitely check it out. It was lovely.

Hilary said...

Ooh, I am intrigued by this Ibisco. Very interesting! And how cool is it that your liquor store guy is a total BabyCocktails supporter/helper?! I love it. Unfortunately, no sweet tea for me...I don't know what it is, just can't handle tea sweetened at all. My (southern) husband thinks I'm crazy (or, as my mother in-law puts it, "a whack job" - said with strong N. Carolina accent), and I can't explain it because I love everything else sweet...but just not tea.

Anyway, hope you were able to get everything checked off the pre-August to-do list!