The past week has been pretty packed with work on the house; Jeremy and I refinished the hardwood floors of the second story last weekend and I’ve been plastering the bedroom for the past few days. It’s a long process, but the results have been really encouraging so far so I’m plugging along to get it all done before the end of the month. I did have a nice break in the remodeling schedule, though, when Zoe from the local Steven Smith Tea Maker came by and we got to hang out and experiment with the tea-flavored vodkas I’d been infusing. The process to infuse them was really simple, I just used a ratio of 2 tablespoons dried loose leaf tea (about 3 tea bags) to 12 ounces of vodka, sealed them together in an airtight container, and let them sit on the kitchen counter for a week, shaking it once every day or two. In true food nerd form, I made three separate infusions with three different teas to experiment with the blending options later on.
But the awesome thing about the below recipe is that it is completely customizable (along with being really easy to make). For the punch, you combine all the ingredients the night before and let them sit in a refrigerated pitcher overnight, which is great for summer entertaining because you don’t have to worry about mixing drinks as guests arrive and can still offer them something tastier and more personal than a can of beer when they get there. As for adding a personalized touch, you can use whatever kind of tea you’d like for the general tea-infused vodka recipe, and if you want to change up the fruits to compliment the flavors of your chosen tea, feel free. I think their No. 97 Jasmine Silver Tip mixed with roasted strawberries or raspberries would make for an *outstanding* punch. Or the Meadow tea with ginger and lemon, or the Big hibiscus tea with vanilla bean and cherries…well, there’s a lot of options out there. The world’s your tea-infused oyster 🙂
3 sprigs fresh mint
For the tea infused vodka, stir together the tea and vodka in a 12 or 16-ounce mason jar. Cover with its lid and allow to infuse at room temperature for 1 week, shaking it once a day. Strain, and reserve the infused vodka.
For the roasted stone fruit & bungalow tea punch, preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the fruit halves on a baking sheet, interior facing up, and sprinkle them with the granulated sugar. Roast in the oven until the fruit has wrinkled slightly and the edges of the fruit are slightly golden, about 30 to 40 minutes.
In a large pitcher, stir together the apricot nectar and 8 ounces of the bungalow tea infused vodka. Add the roasted fruits and stir to incorporate. Cover the pitcher and refrigerate overnight. Serve chilled with fresh mint garnish. Makes 4 servings.