Friday, January 22, 2010

MxMo: Tea

This month's Mixology Monday theme is tea, both traditional and herbal. It is being hosted by one of my favorite bloggers, Frederic at Cocktail Virgin Slut. Frederic's blog is notable for his tireless visual and verbal documenting of interesting tipples around the city of Boston. He literally goes out several times a week to different bars and brings back pictures and recipes to share with us all. Perhaps most impressive is his post frequency... he almost runs 7 posts per week on average, I would say.

I'm doing my MxMo post on an herbal tea called Red Zinger by Celestial Seasonings. The name sounds stupid, but the tea is not. One would classify Red Zinger as a variation on hibiscus tea. Aside from both its Chinese and Thai types of hibiscus, it contains rose hips, orange peel, lemongrass, cherry bark, and even a little bit of peppermint. The result is an exceptionally fruity and tart tea, often suggested to be served in iced form. The ingredients combine into dominant flavors of cherry, raspberry, and a generic "red berry" flavor, all underscored by the fresh taste that only hibiscus can lend. The color of the tea is bright red, bordering on the likes of Campari.

The extreme fruitiness of this tea demands a fruity cocktail, and a light one at that. Its place was so easy to find in a drink that I began with a recipe in my head and found that the cocktail was perfect on the first try.

By the way, you'd brew a cup of Red Zinger like any other. Submerge a tea bag into a cup of hot water and let it steep anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes. Over-steeping really isn't much of an issue... the tea bag loses its flavors quickly and it does not get bitter. You should probably let it cool before you mix with it.



1.5 oz light rum
1 oz Red Zinger herbal tea
.5 oz lemon juice
.5 oz passionfruit syrup

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a (knotted) lemon twist.

This cocktail is one of the best I've ever made. It's called the Fraise (strawberry in French) because for some reason, it tastes strongly of strawberry. Much like the Red Zinger itself, the constituent parts of this recipe make it taste of something entirely different. It's a very pink cocktail, to be sure... and if you can't deal with holding a pink cocktail in a cocktail glass, GET OVER IT.

Vodka Cranberry Hibiscus

1.5 oz vodka
1 oz Red Zinger
4 oz cranberry juice
2 wedges of lemon

Take a lemon wedge, squeeze it, and throw it into a Collins glass. Fill with ice, and build the rest of the ingredients on top. Garnish with another lemon wedge.

Red Zinger and cranberry seem like a natural pair. They're just about the same color, and the tea begs for at least a little sweetness to perform best. This is a nicely refreshing drink.


  1. Nice drinks and thanks that Fraise looks like a tasty treat..

  2. I got over my pink drink fear with the tasty Clover Club. Thanks for the MxMo submission!