Cocktail O'Clock: Boozy Hampstead Tea
Recently I was sent a lovely selection of biodynamic iced teas from local company Hampstead Tea - thank you very much - and I've been having a little play around with them. They're all completely organic, made from proper leaf tea and real fruit so they taste delicious as a standalone iced tea drink, but of course even better spiked with alcohol.
I'm not actually a fan of the much-feted Long Island Iced Tea (despite it being the usually most alcoholic cocktail on the menu) as for me the combination of iced tea and cola is a no-no. Having said that, I've been seeing a lot of fuss for new Karma Cola which may go some way to improve things.
Today though, I've gone for the Oolong Tea with Peach - Oolong is a traditional Chinese tea, somewhere between a green tea and a black tea taste wise, and this one is infused with fresh peach puree to sweeten it. Peach can take a lot of strong flavours, so I went for a bourbon as my alcohol of choice. The sweet smokey notes of Jack Daniels (which I don't actually generally enjoy) works really well with this combo, and tempered with a little sharp fresh lime juice and lots and lots and lots of ice makes for a great refreshing drink. I was out of fresh peaches, but an extra muddle of apricot and then garnishing with a slice adds another level. Yummy.
I also think this particular icea tea could take a lot of greenness - so mixing with basil, vodka and maybe some agave if needed would also be one to try.
Hampstead Tea have a selection of four different iced tea varieties, all with a mellow botanical mouth feel, so you could have hours of fun inventing your own spin on the Long Island - albeit more Hampstead than Hamptons.
* I was sent the teas as a press sample