April was a busy month as I prepared for my book launch celebration for my novel, Realm. With that being said, I didn’t have the opportunity to write a post for Tuesday Tea. I’m hoping that today’s will more than make up for that.
Oolong is one of my favorite teas, and Tie Guan Yin oolong presents the perfect base for Ohio Tea Co.’s Cucumber Lime Oolong. If you’re not familiar with Tie Guan Yin (also written as Ti Kuan or Ti Kwan), apparently, it is the most famous, tastiest, and rarest of Chinese teas. The name translates to Iron Goddess of Mercy, which makes me like it even more. These days it’s only lightly oxidized making it closer to green tea than black tea. It can be roasted or unroasted.
Tie Guan Yin paired with freeze dried cucumber and natural flavor produced a scent combination that inspired me to go straight to icing this beauty. The mention of limes and cucumbers, two items I’ve only ever eaten cold, made me think of all things cool and refreshing.
I didn’t want to stop at simply icing it, however, and I quickly worked it into what I call a teatail, i.e., a cocktail made with tea. Follow the directions below, and you, too, can remain cool, calm, and relaxed for the hot summer days just around the corner.
Summer Daze Teatail
6 c fresh water
6 t Cucumber Lime Oolong
1 ½ c raw sugar
1 c fresh water
Bring the water to 180° F in a stainless-steel pot on the stove. While the water heats, measure out the oolong into a large, mesh tea ball. When the water reaches the appropriate temperature, place the tea ball in it and cover the pot with a lid. Remember to turn off the heat below the pot (gas stove) or remove it from the burner (electric stove).
Allow the tea to brew for six hours, during which time it will also come down to room temperature. You may swirl it gently, otherwise do not remove the lid from the pot. The long, undisturbed brewing time ensures the tea is strong enough to stand up to the liquor you will add later without being bitter.
While the tea is brewing, add the raw sugar to one cup of water in a stainless-steel pot and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil over a medium-high heat, stirring gently, until a rich syrup has formed. Cover the pot with a lid and allow the syrup to cool to room temperature. The syrup can be stored for up to a week in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
When the tea has brewed, you may swirl the tea ball once to ensure evenness of color. Remove the tea ball and discard the expended tea. Do not press out the leaves into the brewed tea. Pour the tea into a glass pitcher and place in the refrigerator until the tea is completely chilled.
You can perform a dry shake with a cocktail shaker if you choose. I recommend Viski products as they are quality and a great place to start building your personal bar. You can, however, achieve the same results, which is to thoroughly combine the Hendrick’s and chilled syrup, using a glass and a fork.
Measure 1 oz. Hendrick’s gin into a cocktail shaker or short glass. Add ½ oz. of the rich syrup. Shake or stir until the liquor and syrup are completely combined. Set aside.
Choose a glass tumbler that is at least 12 oz. in size. Add four to six ice cubes depending on the size of your glass. Pour the chilled Cucumber Lime Oolong tea into your glass to within one inch of the rim. Top with the Hendricks/sugar mixture. Stir gently and sip yourself to contentment.