While there are many ways to go cocktail crazy with iced tea, my two favorite spirits to add into the mix here are vodka and whiskey. Vodka is a given; its chameleon-like flavor profile (or lack of flavor as the case may be) gives it the ability to mix with virtually any other liquid. Whiskey works fantastic as well; lending spiced notes that really kick up the usually mellow flavors of a typical iced tea.
Iced Tea image via Shutterstock
Read on for some truly delicious iced tea cocktails, perfect for beachside, poolside, or just about any outdoor occasion. Cheers, and Happy National Iced Tea Day!
Adapted from MyRecipes.com
This is the classic recipe for an Arnold Palmer, which in its simplest form is iced tea and lemonade. The addition of bourbon gives it a nice kick and mixes incredibly well with the flavor of the lemons and the mild tea.
4 cups boiling water
5 regular-sized tea bags
¾ cups sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
4 cups cold water
1 cup bourbon (we recommend the Baby Bourbon from Tuthilltown Spirits)
½ cup fresh lemon juice
lemon slices, for garnish
Pour boiling water over tea bags, sugar, and lemon zest in a large bowl. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Cover and steep for 5 minutes. Pour the mixture through a fine strainer into a large pitcher, discarding the tea bags and zest. Stir in the cold water, bourbon and fresh lemon juice. Cover and chill for 30 minutes, up to 12 hours. Serve over ice. Garnish with lemon slices.
Southern Iced TeaAdapted from Deep South Dish
1 qt size Mason Jar
1 oz light rum
1 oz vodka
1 oz gin
4 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice or lemonade
3 oz unsweetened iced tea
1-2 oz of simple syrup, to taste
sprigs of mint, for garnish
slices of lemon, for garnish
Fill the Mason jar with ice. Add the rum, vodka, gin, lemon juice or lemonade, iced tea and simple syrup. Stir completely, and adjust taste and sweetness as needed. Garnish with a slice of lemon and a sprig of mint.
Drunken Peach Iced TeaAdapted from SheKnows.com
1-1/2 oz peach liqueur
1 oz spiced rum
1 oz peach schnapps
½ oz vodka
5 oz sweet tea
Combine all of the spirits in a large glass with ice. Stir the iced tea into the glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge.
ZEN Dew Iced TeaAdapted from SheKnows.com
4 parts prepared Gyokura Green Tea (steps below)
1-1/2 parts ZEN Green Tea Liqueur
1-1/2 parts Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey
Lime Wedge, for garnish
To prepare the green tea, combine 1 part cold and 5 parts boiling water. Use ¼ cup of dry tea leaves to 2 cups cold water. Steep 3-4 minutes. Strain and chill. Combine and stir all ingredients. Garnish with a lime wedge.
Firefly Tea Breeze1 oz Firefly Sweet Tea Flavored Vodka
1 oz Cranberry Juice
1 oz Grapefruit Juice
Slice of lime
Combine all ingredients in a tall glass over fresh ice. Garnish with a slice of lime.