January 22, 2021

What I’m Drinking: Holiday Tea Time

I realize that the “holidays” in some ways are behind us, at least what people think of when one says “holidays,” in Western culture, that is, meaning the winter holidays, though really there are holidays year round, round the world (thankfully)! Which means drinking a drink called “Holiday Tea Time” anytime at all is perfectly dandy, and especially, me thinks, in January, because this particular drink doesn’t have any booze in it, and though I don’t partake in the now-ritual called “dry January,” I know lots of fine folks who do, and they deserve to have good drinks during that timeframe, and here we are then, with this peppermint-y, rosemary-y, bubbly delight. The peppermint travels this holiday road through the addition of peppermint tea, chilled here, and the rosemary through rosemary simple syrup, which I’m fairly fond of, I have to admit!


Holiday Tea Time


Ice cubes

2 ounces peppermint tea, chilled

3/4 rosemary simple syrup (see Note, below)

1/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice

Ice cubes

4 ounces club soda

Rosemary sprig, for garnish


1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the tea, syrup, and juice. Shake well.


2. Fill a highball or comparable glass three-quarters full with ice cubes. Strain the mix from Step 1 through a fine strainer into the glass over the ice. Top with the club soda.


3. Stir to combine. Garnish with the rosemary sprig.


A Note: To make the rosemary simple syrup, add three-quarters cup fresh rosemary to a saucepan. Muddle a little bit with a muddler or wooden spoon. Add 1-1/2 cups sugar and 1 cup water to the saucepan and raise the heat to medium-high. Stirring regularly, let the mixture come to a low boil, and keep it there until the sugar is dissolved. Simmer for ten minutes, remove the heat, and let cool completely. Strain out the rosemary, and pour into a container with a good lid. Store in the fridge for up to two weeks.


November 28, 2014

What I’m Drinking: Pliny’s Hand Warmer

Way, way back when, (in the double digits AD), Pliny the Elder wrote the Naturalis Historia, and in that wrote about peppermint, and how it was not only used in sauces and drinks, but only in sweet-scented sprays and worn about the head. I like that! I wanna wear peppermint like a hat. Can I do that? Anyway, with all that connection between good ol’ Pliny and peppermint, I don’t believe anyone has every named a peppermint-y drink for Pliny. Please correct me if I’m wrong here, and you have, actually, come up with said drink. Hopefully this is different than yours if that’s the case. I used peppermint tea for my peppermint-y-ness, and to go along with all the Ps, I used Plantation’s Original Dark rum. No, no, I used this rum from Trinidad & Tobago because its hints of smoke, citrus, banana, and spice mingle smoothly with the tea. And then I used Averna amaro for no other reason than I thought it would taste good. Guess what? I was right! This is a swell drink for the winter months – keep warm out there.


Pliny’s Hand Warmer

1-1/2 ounce Plantation Original Dark rum
1 ounce Averna amaro
5 ounces hot peppermint tea
Wide orange twist, for garnish

1. Add the rum and the Averna to a mug that’s been warmed with hot water. Stir briefly.

2. Add the tea, stir again, and warm up. Garnish with the orange twist.

A Note: If you feel this needs an extra garnish, and have fresh peppermint available, well, you know what to do.

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