Don’t let the name fool you, there be no blueberries here, folks.
I was first introduced to ‘Blueberry Tea’ at my Dad’s house during a particularly snowy Christmas Break a few years ago.
My sister and I like to joke that the first thing our Dad does whenever anyone arrives at his house is to offer them a drink. It’s his default hosting move and, I have to say, it’s a pretty good one. Get in, drop your bags, maaaaybe take your shoes off then, “Now, can I get you a beverage?”
In the mornings, this usually means one of his epic lattes, or a pot of Silk Road Tea, but anytime after noon, you can be assured the rest of the cabinets (and fridges) are on the menu as well. Cocktail hour!
During this particular visit, I was a grimly poor, sadly single, twenty-something art school student (ha! That’ll get you a job…). Cocktails were very much on my mind. After lunch out with my Dad, glad-handing colleagues at his office (“Yep, still single. Yep, still unemployed. Yep, pretty much becoming Bridget Jones.”), and getting trench-foot from those boots which looked cool but definitely didn’t hold up to the weather, I was ready for the hard stuff. Typically a wino, I was in the mood for a full-on cocktail. Martini me up, guys.
“So, can I get you a drink?” Dad asked, as we walked through the breezeway. Hell yes, Dad. Please do. “How about a Blueberry Tea?”
Oh. Ohhhhkay. I guess we’re tea-totalling. Clearly, he doesn’t know how much I need a cup of ‘festive cheer’ right now. “Sure, Dad. Or like… a green tea? Whatever. Why don’t we cut the difference and do, like, a fruity green tea? Japanese Sour Cherry?”
Dad throws me a full-tilt Cheshire cat smile. “I think you want a Blueberry Tea.”
Sure. Fine. Maybe this tea is something special? I turn to my step-mum as my Dad putters around the kitchen muttering “Blueberry Tea” to himself, and throw her a look that says equal parts “Join me in a wine?” and “I’m so sorry, I think he’s finally lost his marbles.”
However, in return, she gives me the same Cheshire cat grin and says, “I think I’ll have a Blueberry Tea, too, actually.”
They look at each other conspiratorially. Either this tea is going to blow my mind with its fresh blueberry flavour or it’s going literally blow my mind and make me hallucinate, right? Maybe they’ve decided I’m an old maid, the worst kind of boomerang child, an endless drain on precious resources, and am putting me out of my misery. Honestly, after the day I had, that doesn’t sound like the worst.
Sure enough, it does contain tea, but it tastes of utter magic. Warm, sweet, fruity. Like a cozy hug in front of a hot fire, it melts away the horrors or the day. This is some Harry Potter business right here, it’s like real life Butterbeer!
Of course, the secret is a perfect mixture of alcohols swirled with the perfect compliment of tea.
Named ‘Blueberry Tea’ because, to many people, it tastes remarkably of blueberries, I feel like this is Winter’s answer to the Long Island Iced Tea. A combination of unique ingredients coming together to create something totally new which, curiously, tastes nothing like its individual components.
Grand Marnier (orange), Amaretto (almond), lemon juice and tea (Earl Grey if you love the Earl, Lady Grey for a much more delicate and citrusy flavour, and Orange Pekoe in a pinch. Lady Grey is the favourite here, if you can get it)… yet the drink tastes almost nothing like its components. It’s… Blueberry Tea!
I told you it was some Harry-Potter-style magic.
I can’t give my Dad credit for this recipe however- this is all my step-mum’s wizardry. I have read countless recipes online which use Orange Pekoe and a cinnamon stick, but this iteration is my favourite, hands down. Her perfect recipe, which she has graciously let me share with you today.
Grand Marnier, Amaretto, fresh lemon, Lady Grey. Garnish with a lemon wedge (and some fresh cranberries if you happen to have some, because they’re just so damn pretty).
Simple, perfect. A cup of holiday magic.
Whether you’re having great holidays or not-so-great, it’s sure to put a smile on your face. It certainly put a smile on mine!
|Blueberry Tea (*contains no blueberries)|| |
- 1 part Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
- 1 part Amaretto
- Squeeze of lemon
- 2-3 parts* Lady Grey tea
- Add Grand Marnier, Amaretto and lemon juice to a brandy snifter. Top with tea of your choice.
- Garnish with a lemon wedge, orange wedge, or cinnamon stick.