Truth be told, I’ve never really been a bourbon girl. When I was younger, the only liquor I drank was mixed in drinks like a “Madras” or “Long Island Iced Tea” or a plain ol’ rum & coke or something. I never acquired a taste for Jack Daniels, unlike my female college peers (or so they said- liars). And then later on as I got older (& realized some things do not mix well) I just stopped altogether with any kind of so-called hard liquor, and stuck to either beer or wine. Except for Jameson of course, which is a staple around here. Irish coffees!
But Jay is a bourbon guy and so I’ve come to find that there are a few that I quite enjoy with ice or in a drink, and some of those I even like straight up. There’s always a lot to choose from here (as of the time this post is being written there are no fewer than 24 bottles of bourbon/whiskey/etc on hand), so there’s enough to taste & sample & find out what I find to be good (Russell’s, James E. Pepper, and good old Maker’s Mark) & what equates to gasoline (Old Weller Antique).
(Note: All opinions above are clearly my own, and do not reflect Jay’s opinion nor what yours might be after trying said bourbons.)
Anyway… in the summer we like to laze around on our screened in porch at night. Sometimes we venture out into the yard for a barbecue or to light the fire pit, but most of the time we stay on the porch; we have Indy out there and we just sit & enjoy the breeze, or turn the fan on. Even on the hottest night, somehow the porch is 10-15 degrees cooler. Jay will have a cigar and a bourbon or we have some wine & it’s just lovely.
It’s beautiful as the sun is setting.
Inspired by that, and also a bottle that we bought Jay’s sister for her birthday (Jim Beam RedStag honey tea), I decided to make something different for us to imbibe: some Southern-style iced tea with bourbon. Also known as “sweet tea.” Sweet tea is really just like regular iced tea, except it’s VERY sweet (which I love). In this incarnation, I used peach tea because yum. You can sweeten it to taste, with honey, sugar or agave. I use regular sugar and added a bit of honey when serving. If you’re using regular black tea, you can add lemons, limes, strawberries… whatever it is you like. Peach just sounded perfect to me.
It’s best when on the sweet side, of course. But if you prefer less sweetness then do as you like. It’s meant to be enjoyed!
As Joy the Baker would say, it’s BONKERS AWESOME. How to make it?
- I used 5 STASH peach black tea bags (for extra flavor and strength) and steeped them in boiling water in a gallon Ball jar (along with 3/4 cup white sugar) for a few hours. I just let it sit on my kitchen counter, basically.
- Once it was cooled completely, I placed it in the refrigerator overnight.
- When I was ready to make the cocktails (the next day), I removed the tea bags, poured it into a carafe and added fresh peach slices & ice.
- From there I prepared the drinks. Each glass gets a peach slice & a shot (or half shot, depending on the size of your glass) of bourbon along with a mint sprig. I also dropped a bit of honey in each glass before pouring the tea, then stirred. That’s totes opts A.K.A. totally optional.
- Drink! And enjoy!
Upon Jay’s recommendation in this particular drink I used Breckinridge bourbon whiskey. It was a good choice! I’m not a fan of it straight but in this iced tea it was delicious. Any (good) whiskey or bourbon you have will work, however. Even Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey!
Feel free to add a cherry on top, or whatever else your heart desires.