I’ve held out as long as I can, but by god, it is time. It is time for spring and summer to be here. Now. I try every year to keep the season out of my mind as long as possible during the winter, but once Indiana gets those few teaser days of 60s and sun…it all starts. I am one of those people who wear flip flops way too soon and skirts when it’s much too cold, because I’ve convinced myself that somehow, in some way, shape, or form, that will make the weather turn more quickly. I start to reminisce about summers past, listen to a lot of Belle & Sebastian, daydream about having beer outside again. I get my golf clubs ready, and my tennis racquets out. And I start my mental list of everything to look forward to*
Sleeping with just one very thin and cool sheet
Sleeping with the windows open
Everything smells fresh in the morning
Helios Pale Ale
Le Tour de France
Playing in the water. Lakes. Rivers.
And recently, THIS DRINK
Sophomore year in college, my roommate introduced me to my now top, #1, first, foremost, favorite tea. Tazo Passion Tea…bursting with flavor, so unlike tea, sweet but intense. And not only could we have it in the dead of winter to warm us up and give us a break from boring tea, but we could use it for iced tea to cool us off in the summer while we read and lazed around in the living room. (Only our bedrooms had A/C, which meant to cool the rest of the apartment they had to be on full blast 24/7…weird I know. Our toilet also had hot water hooked up to it? Don’t ask…Welcome to college living.)
That was all before I was twenty-one, so now I can have the better version. A twirly, la-dee-da pink cocktail. (Just embrace the pink). It’s hard to describe the Passion tea flavor since I’ve never had anything like it before, but perhaps if a grapefruit and a pomegranate had a lovechild we would be close. The mint here cools it down a notch, and the key lime juice gives it a nice tart twist.
1 Tazo Passion bag of tea
12 oz water
1 cup lightly packed mint leaves
1-2 ounces gin
2-3 key limes
Now I am absolutely amateur and totally unskilled in how mixed drinks are “supposed” to be prepared, so this was all impromptu. But hey, at least I ended up with a stellar drink.
1. Boil water, and pour into a 16 oz Pyrex glass measuring cup, or some other large glass bowl. Steep tea for 2-3 minutes.
2. Refrigerate tea until chilled…I was impatient and put a few ice cubes in after about one hour. Juice 2-3 key limes (I started with just two and added another lime after I tasted the final product), and pour into tea along with your gin.
3. Drop mint leaves into tea and muddle well. (Essentially, I pressed the mint leaves for a few minutes with a spoon repeatedly against the side of the glass.) Chill again if needed. Strain mint leaves, and serve!
Taste this as you go, because I enjoy the tea extremely intense, whereas you may prefer the passion flavor to be more subtle. Simply add a few ice cubes to dilute. Also, next time I may try skipping the mint and serving with a sprig of rosemary for more fragrance.
*As soon as I publish this I will think of ten more things for the list. So prepare for me to sneak them into upcoming posts.