Thirsty Thursday: Sip on Blackberry-Bourbon Iced Tea

By: Kelsey Vala

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For the perfect pitcher of something sweet, Southern and spiked, serve up a batch of some seriously tasty iced tea. Freshly brewed black tea is infused with mashed blackberries and mint, resulting in a pretty, purple-hued brew. Then tea time gets serious when each glass of chilled iced tea is crowned with a shot of Kentucky bourbon that lazily floats on top to ensure a kick with each sip. This refreshing medley showcases bourbon’s smoky charm in a fruity, summery sipper.

Bottoms up, folks.

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups fresh blackberries
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1 1/2 quarts cold water
  • 6 good quality black tea bags
  • Ice, as needed
  • Good quality bourbon, to taste (recommended: Woodford Reserve)
  • Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish

Directions:

Combine the blackberries, sugar, and coarsely chopped mint in a large bowl and mash with a potato masher or wooden spoon and let sit while making the tea. 

While the blackberries are macerating, bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan, remove from the heat, add the tea bags and let steep for about 3 minutes. Remove the bags and pour the tea over the blackberry mixture. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour for the flavors to meld. 

Pour the mixture through a strainer into a pitcher, pressing on the solids, cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours. Cook's Note: You can also pour the mixture into a bowl set inside an ice bath to cool the mixture faster. 

Serve the blackberry tea over ice in tall glasses and float a shot of bourbon on top and garnish with lots of fresh mint sprigs...(like a Mint Julep).

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