During my Whole30 I’ve been sworn off alcohol. It’s been both liberating and extremely frustrating. I’m not a massive drinker, but there’s been more than one social occasion where I would have died for a glass of chilled prosecco with friends. So, in an attempt to jazz up my beverages I’ve been making non alcoholic iced tea cocktails. Wild I know.
Fizzy, fruity and alcohol-free, they’re a little more exciting than what comes out of my Brita filter. Plus they’re pink – we’re winning all round. You can pretty much make these in whatever flavour you fancy, but I quite like strawberry and lemon ones. Fresh, slightly-sweet and filled with little bubbles, these pretty pink iced tea cocktails are bursting with flavour. Plus they’re easy to make and last ages in the fridge – great for those moments you need a (non-alcoholic) tasty refreshment.
After looking through various recipes online, I decided the simpler, the better. So my version contains just a non-alcoholic tea liquor, sparkling water, thyme and fresh lemon. Oh and ice, lots of ice.
Finding the perfect tea
The most important part of this non alcoholic cocktail is the tea, of course. Which is why I headed to Bluebird Tea Co to pick up one of their expertly blended packs. They’re an independent shop nestled in the heart of the North Laines, Brighton and they’ve got everything from hot cross bun blends, to rhubarb and custard and even mojito flavour tea. They’re so much fun, you could make a cocktail from any one of them.
Bluebird specialise in loose leaf blends inspired by things like cake, deserts and even traditional teas like chamomile and peppermint. So, after procrastinating for way to long in the store and even trying a few of the teas (they always have a hot tea brewing for window shoppers) I chose Strawberry Lemonade.
I opted for the bio-degradable tea bags as opposed to a loose leaf pack – I couldn’t be bothered with all that straining. At £4.99 for 15 tea bags, it felt pretty extravagant, but I’m saving money on not buying gin, no? I also bought lemons and thyme to not only make them look pretty, but add another flavour dimension to my tea cocktails. This particular blend is great with fresh strawberries. You can either smush them into the bottom of a glass, balance them on the edge as a garnish or eat them all before your tea blend is ready, like me!
Now the only thing to note about this iced tea cocktail is you should ideally make it ahead. The tea liquor will get better the longer it’s brewed. I suggest overnight, although mine was brewing almost 24 hours in the fridge before I finally served it to friends during a dinner party.
So, for the moment you’ve all been waiting for (and if you’ve read all of the above, I expect your probably ready for a drink)…
Iced tea cocktails recipe
Makes 6 cocktails
1 kettle full of Boiling water
A teapot (or something to brew your tea in)
1 large bottle sparkling water (San Pellegrino is my personal fave)
1 pack of thyme
Handful of strawberries
Boil the kettle and pop your teabags into the teapot. Add the hot water to the teapot and stir, allowing the teabags to release their flavours.
Once cool, either pop your teapot in the fridge, or transfer it into another bottle (with the teabags) and allow it to cool in the fridge. Allow your tea to brew in the fridge for up to 24 hours. This will allow all the flavours to fully blend, creating a deliciously fruit tea liquor.
When ready to serve, ready a glass with ice. Pour in your tea liquor half way up the glass, then top up with sparkling water.
Pop in a few sprigs of thyme and stir, now add a wedge of lemon. Serve straight away. Enjoy your iced tea cocktails!
I’ve been storing my tea liquor in the fridge for those moments when I need a little excitement in my life that’s still Whole30 approved. Even Leni wanted a little taster…
Until next time,