Sunday, June 29, 2008

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Tea and Whiskey

Water? Isn’t that the stuff they put under bridges?
~ unattributed

Must be my Irish blood that leads me to drink more tea and whiskey than water. The water is fine here—after all, I use it to brew the tea and, on occasion, to mellow and cool my whiskey—but drinking straight water is something I do almost exclusively at the gym or on long drives. Face it, during long drives, whiskey does not recommend itself.

How much iced tea do I drink? Made a gallon yesterday. It’s gone. Time for a new batch. Here’s how I make the quotidian starting off with an infusion strong enough to stand up to old-school alcoholic party punches.

Everyday Iced Tea

24 g (just shy of an ounce) black tea, such as orange pekoe, either loose or in bags
3 cups/750 ml water

Bring the water to boil in a non-reactive pot with a tight-fitting lid. Turn off the heat, add the tea, and cover. Let steep five minutes. Meanwhile fill a gallon pitcher ¾ full with cold water (you’re going to add very hot strong tea in a few minutes, so the cold water absorbs the heat and prevents the pitcher from cracking/melting).

After five minutes, strain the tea from the water (or lift out the tea bags, if using them) and pour the resulting strong tea into the cold water. Top off with more cold water to make a full gallon.

Pour over ice in individual glasses right away or refrigerate.

Sweet tea is another topic. We’ll tackle that some other day.


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