A few months ago, I bought the Eventide Oyster Co. cookbook as I panicked over the number of restaurants are going out of business during Covid-19. I appreciate that the restaurant industry needs more relief than I'll ever be able to offer by purchasing takeout, cookbooks, and tote bags. But it's what we've got for right now (that and calling your elected officials, urging them to pass another Covid relief package).
Eventide's take on Twisted Tea will help you take your mind off, well, all that, at least for a short while. It's a boozy tea with a subtle orange flavor and packs a surprisingly alcoholic punch. The recipe in the cookbook makes nearly five gallons, so I scaled it back to a quarter of that volume. It still makes nearly a gallon, so you'll need a big container in which to mix it, preferably one that fits in your refrigerator.
The ingredients are straightforward—the only relatively obscure ingredient is the Hangar 1 Mandarin Blossom vodka. I found it at Bow Street Beverage along with the Sobieski vodka, an inexpensive Polish rye spirit.
Once I'd gathered my ingredients, I set out making the simple syrup and lemon juice and infusing the vodka with black tea bags. After that, it's just a matter of mixing all the ingredients together and chilling.
Start by infusing a quart (4 cups) of Sobieski vodka with 2 black tea bags.
Then mix together 2 cups of fresh-squeezed lemon juice and 2 cups of simple syrup (made from equal parts sugar and water).
Add in 1 quart (4 cups) of plain unsweetened black iced tea.
Then add 2 cups of the mandarin blossom vodka and the quart (4 cups) of black tea-infused vodka.
And that's it! Stir well and chill to serve. It's best served over ice in small portions—it's strong! If you're not looking to make this much boozy tea, you can always order a single portion from the restaurant—it's available as a to-go cocktail.
Tea with a Twist
Adapted from Eventide Oyster Co.
4 cups Sobieski vodka
2 black tea bags
2 cups Hangar 1 Mandarin Blossom vodka
4 cups unsweetened black iced tea
2 cups fresh lemon juice
2 cups simple syrup
Combine Sobieski vodka and black tea bags in a large jar. Let stand at room temperature for at least 3 hours. Remove tea bags and discard.
Combine tea-infused vodka and remaining ingredients in a large jar or other food-grade container. Stir to combine and chill. Serve over ice. Drink will last up to a month in the refrigerator.
Yield: 14 cups