Monday, April 12, 2010

Blackberry Bourbon Sweet Tea - A MUST try Drink of the Month

We had an unseasonably warm spell in Philly last week. It seemed we had gone straight from scarves and mittens to shorts and flip flops, practically overnight. We also went from waiting in line to get a table at a restaurant with a fireplace, to waiting in line for a table on the sidewalk.

It seems that warmer weather brings out different food cravings. Although personally, I could eat beef stew on a 100 degree day or slurp up a steaming bowl of Pho while bathing suit clad on the beach (although I'd have to be extra careful while slurping...don't want any hot Pho related burns while in my bikini), I find that most people would find those food/dining choices a little off-putting.

Now, I understand the change in food cravings, but what I don't understand is the change in cocktails. Ok sure, you won't find me chugging eggnog or a hot toddy in July, but what's wrong with enjoying a bourbon on the rocks or a nice Irish whiskey in your Bermuda Shorts? Why do some feel the need to put away the brown liquor for the whole summer season?

The hubby was on the phone with a friend last week on one of those unseasonably warm nights and he ended the conversation with, "Well, I'm going to go pour myself a bourbon". His friend scoffed and replied that it was too warm for bourbon. The hubby giggled, glanced at his now 7 bottle bourbon collection and said, "It is NEVER too warm for bourbon". I happen to agree whole heartily.

Here's a mixed drink that is sure to change your mind about drinking brown liquor after Memorial Day.

Blackberry Bourbon Sweet Tea

-1 part bourbon
-3 parts fresh brewed iced tea (unsweetened) (I use black tea like an Earl Grey...brew it then chill it)
-1/2 part fresh blackberry simple syrup (recipe below)

Fill a shaker with ice and all ingredients...shake...pour into a highball...perhaps garnish with a fresh blackberry... Enjoy! (P.S. Omit the bourbon and you've got a great non-alcoholic drink that would be a hit at any backyard bbq)

Blackberry Simple Syrup

2 parts sugar
1 part water
2 parts fresh blackberries

Pour everything into a small saucepan, stir slightly and slowly bring to a simmer. Once the mixture begins to simmer remove it from the heat and with the back of a wooden spoon, mash the blackberries until they have released all of their juices. Now pour the mixture through a mesh strainer to remove all of the blackberry seeds, then chill the strained mixture. This will keep for a few weeks in a covered container in your fridge. You can sweeten SO many cocktails with this syrup (I bet it might even be good on ice cream!).

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