We’ve done bourbon lemonade and several iterations of bourbon iced tea, so why not a bourbon Arnold Palmer?
Bourbon Arnold Palmer
3 cups water
2 bags black tea
½ cup lemon juice (from about three lemons)
½ cup simple syrup
4 oz. bourbon
The first step is to brew tea, and I hope I don’t have to tell you how to do that. After you have steeped the tea for five minutes, place it in the refrigerator to cool. (Make sure your vessel can withstand the temperature change.)
Juice the lemons and mix the juice with the simple syrup. Chill it in the refrigerator.
Fill a glass about halfway with ice then fill it half with your cold tea and half with lemonade. Top with two ounces of bourbon (or to taste).
This drink is so refreshing and simple. You can pick out each flavor distinctly, but they mix together well and without any of that strange chemical aftertaste you can get from store-bought Arnold Palmers. You’ll want to pick a bourbon that isn’t too spicy or high proof, otherwise it will overpower the more delicate flavors of the tea and lemon.
I’m not sure if it comes through on this blog, but we are tea fanatics, and we’re always excited at the prospect of combining tea and bourbon. Thanks to Beau Dealy at Something Edible for the recipe.
Bourbon Citrus Iced Tea
- 16 fluid oz. very hot water (Between 180F-200F)
- 1 lb. ice (about 4 cups)
- 2 Tbsp. loose tea
- 2 Tbsp. demerara sugar
- 24 leaves mint (plus a few more for garnish)
- 12 fluid oz. bourbon whiskey (that’s a cup and a half)
- 2 lemons
- 2 limes
Using a microwave, electric kettle, or whatever, heat your water to the desired temperature. Add loose tea to the French press, pour hot water over the leaves, replace the lid of the press (taking care not to yet mash the plunger), and allow to steep for 5 minutes. Press the steeped tea according to your press manufacturer’s directions and pour the hot tea into a thermally-resilient vessel, along with the sugar and the ice.
As the ice melts, juice one lemon and one lime and then slice the other two for garnish. Bruise the mint leaves by wadding them up in your [clean] hand or by bruising them with a spoon in an empty glass. Into the vessel of now-sweetened tea, stir in the bourbon, lemon juice, lime juice, and mint. When ready to serve, pour into a pitcher filled with ice and citrus slices. Serve over ice with extra mint and citrus slices.
This is an excellent recipe to which I made no modifications—a rare occurrence for me. At first I thought the amount of bourbon called for was excessive, but I trusted the recipe and it is perfect. The strongly brewed tea and citrus ensure that the spirit stays in balance, while the aroma and light flavor of mint brighten the mixture considerably. This is the perfect beverage for hot summer days like we’ve been having recently in Boston.
Iced tea is pretty much the best summer relaxy-time drink ever. I’ve also discovered that iced tea and bourbon are pretty much the bestest friends ever. (Exhibit A: True Grit drink #1. Exhibit B: True Grit drink #2.) Well, here’s another easy and delicious drink to make with these two BFFs.
Bourbon Peach Tea:
2 oz. bourbon
Peach iced tea
Put ice in a rocks glass, add bourbon, fill glass with iced tea, and squeeze lemon juice into glass.
We made two of these last night: one with Four Roses and one with Maker’s Mark. For a smoother, iced tea-ier flavor, Four Roses is better. The Maker’s Mark aftertaste lingers more and is more evident in the flavor. Obviously, another option is to add more bourbon. Don’t overdo it with the lemon juice, though. It can easily upstage both the bourbon and the tea.
I am still upset about Little Blackie, so this drink is my tribute to Mattie Ross’s horse with heart. If I had made this drink after watching the whole movie, instead of part-way through, I would have made it with blackberries instead of blueberries to properly honor our fallen hero. At any rate, here’s the recipe:
2 oz. bourbon
4 oz. sweet tea
Handful of blueberries
Muddle some of the mint leaves with the bourbon, gently muddle a couple blueberries, add the tea, mix, then top with the rest of the blueberries. Garnish with a mint sprig.
This drink was pretty delicious, but the bourbon kind of got lost. I would probably make this in a low ball glass next time and reduce the amount of tea. I used Bulleit because I thought it would stand up well to mixing, or at least better than Four Roses.
I recommend the Blueberry Bourbon Blackie for summer afternoons spent reminiscing about your childhood horse-riding adventures, though they were obviously nowhere near as badass as Mattie’s.
Something about True Grit (and the Western genre) seems to match perfectly with bourbon, so we decided to make drinks to accompany our viewing of the movie. Of course, instead of mixed drinks, we could’ve drank our bourbon straight from the bottle like Rooster Cogburn. That would have taken out the fun of coming up with our own drinks, though. We were also able to combine our plans to mix sweet tea and bourbon.
Partly inspired by Rooster’s singing the folk song “Greer County Bachelor” (“sorghum molasses and bacon and cheese”) and partly inspired by the dusty, dirty Western atmosphere, I decided my drink absolutely needed to contain molasses, which became my jumping off point.
I don’t know what to call the drink, so we’ll just go with:
True Grit Molasses Drink:
1 tsp. molasses
1 tsp. water
2 oz. Maker’s Mark
1 oz. sweet tea
1 sprig mint
Create a syrup of molasses by combining molasses and water in a small pot and bring to a boil. Mix together as it boils, then let cool. Muddle molasses syrup and mint in an old fashioned glass, add bourbon and sweet tea, top with ice and a drop of lime juice.
I was worried about the molasses flavor taking over, but it didn’t. It gave a rich thickness to the bourbon and tea and lets the aftertaste linger. I used Maker’s Mark so the drink would keep the whiskey burn necessary for a Western.
*True Grit poster by Needle Design & Illustration