Blackberry Bourbon Sweet Tea
Inspired by Bobby Flay
- 3 cups freshly picked blackberries
- 3/4 cup of Pure Cane Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Mint chopped, plus more for garnish
- 1 ½ Quarts of filtered cold water
- 6 Tea Bags (For iced tea, I like Bigelows American Classic Tea)
- Kentucky Bourbon – I tried several bourbons with sweet tea and found Angels Envy to be the most pleasing. (4-6 shots)
- Optional: I like this Blackberry Bourbon Sweet Tea just as it is. However, lemon juice is a natural pairing with sweet tea. Experiment with citrus for a lively change of pace.
1. In a large mixing bowl, toss in the blackberries and sugar. Mash the berries to release their juice. A potato masher works well; a slotted spoon will do in a pinch. Let the mixture stand.
2. Meanwhile, in a heavy saucepan bring the water up to a boil. Remove from heat and add the tea bags and mint, steeping for about three to five minutes. I do this in a pyrex spouted mixing bowl, placing a plate over the top to keep things steamy.
3. To maximize the amount of blackberry juice, I suggest you dampen a cheesecloth, and secure about three layers over a steel mixing bowl. I use zip-ties to hold in place. Work the mix through, carefully undo the cheesecloth making a “sack” and squeeze the remaining pulp until it clumps together in an almost dry mass. Of course, it you are in a hurry you could just use a strainer.
4. Remove tea bags from steeped tea and pour blackberry mixture over tea. Let stand at room temperature for about an hour as the flavors discover the joys of marriage.
5. Refrigerate for at least two hours.
6. Serve in frosted glasses over crushed ice. Top off each glass with a shot of bourbon and a garnish of mint. Do not stir. The idea is the bourbon should “float” above the tea. This kind of cocktail is called “layered” because you can actually see the different ingredients.