Putting the “Tea” in Martini

wht-choc-martiniA little over a year ago, as a Connecticut-based cooking  instructor, I was contacted by the Bigelow Tea Company and asked to develop recipes using tea as an ingredient.  Not being much of a tea drinker, I had never given much thought to the beverage, much less how to incorporate it into recipes.  However, always up for a food challenge, I accepted their offer and have been their official recipe developer ever since.

Tea is not something most people think about as an ingredient in anything other than drinks.  Hot tea, iced tea, sweet tea….that is about where the thought process stops.  While most of the recipes I’ve developed for Bigelow are savory (like soups, stews, salads, and stir-fries), most recently I’ve been working on some other sorts of beverages.  Yes, the “do you like yours shaken or stirred?” variety!  Sound bizarre?  Tea may not be a popular component in bar drinks, but after mixing up these bevvies, you may change your mind!

In the world of overly sweetened martini drinks, I set out to create one in which you could taste both the tea and the alcohol.  Bigelow was in the process of rolling out a new line of teas, which included  “White Chocolate Kisses”, and encouraged me to work that into my line-up.  I ended up making two separate martinis from that tea, a White Chocolate Kisses Mar-TEA-Ni and a Kisses and Cream Mar-TEA-Ni (I lobbied hard for the “mar-tea-ni” spelling—how could I pass that up?).  Chocolate lovers and martini drinkers unite! In addition to slightly sweetened White Chocolate Kisses tea, vanilla vodka gives it extra punch.  The Kisses and Cream variation adds a touch of whipping cream to the mix, which brings out the chocolaty flavor even more.  I’m not a cream-in-your-mixed-drinks kinda gal, but I was surprised to find that I really enjoyed this drink.  My husband and our friend EH even admitted that they liked them too—and didn’t feel too girlie drinking them.

 White Chocolate Kisses Mar-Tea-Ni

Serves 4

4 Bigelow® White Chocolate Kisses tea bags
1 ¼ cups boiling water
1 tablespoon sugar
4 ounces vanilla vodka

1/4 cup cocoa powder (optional)

Place tea bags into a measuring cup and add 1 ¼ cups boiling water. Let brew for 3 minutes. Remove tea bags.

 Add sugar and stir until it dissolves. Chill. 

Prepare martini glasses by wetting the rim and dipping in a shallow dish of cocoa powder (optional)

To make a martini, take two ounces of the cooled sweet tea, one ounce of the vanilla vodka and mix it  in a shaker. Shake with ice and strain into a martini glass.

Variation:  To make a Kisses -n- Cream Mar-Tea-ni, add 1 ounce of chilled whipping cream to the shaker for each drink.

Check out the special herbal blends of teas available on Twolia’s marketplace here !

Click here for more information about Tracy’s Connecticut cooking classes, or to read her The Secret Ingredient Blog.

Above photo from www.bigelowtea.com

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One Response to “Putting the “Tea” in Martini”

  1. helpInaHandbag Says:

    YUMMO!!!

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