Tea-Infused Vodka + Six Inspired Cocktails

With summer right around the corner, the days of sipping sweet cocktails in the sun are soon upon us.  Now I love a delightful libation {or two} myself, but I am not a fan of the added sugar and empty calories that comes with imbibing.

Enter Tea-Infused Vodka.

spices and tea

So delightful and flavorful, you can, without question, slash that simple syrup, sip, and say, “ahhhhhhh.”

Tea-Infused Vodka

peach mint vodka

Here’s what you need to get started:
+ High quality Vodka {Costco-sized Skyy is what I used}, approx. 300 ml per Mason Jar.
+ 6 mason jars {buy here}
+ Loose leaf or bagged tea + add-ins.
+ 3 days of brewing time.
+ Fine mesh strainer.

Green Tea // Cucumber + Orange + Mint

loose leaf green tea

+ 1 Tbs loose leaf green tea
+ 1/3 cucumber, sliced
+ 1/2 orange peel
+ handful of mint leaves

 Cocktail Suggestion:  Cucumber Orange Spritzer – Serve 1 1/2 oz tea-infused vodka over ice + 1 cup seltzer and a squeeze of lime, float a thin cucumber slice on top and garnish with an orange twist.

orange cucumber mint green tea

IMG_6927

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Chai Tea // Orange + Cinnamon + Vanilla Bean

IMG_6961

+1 Tbs loose leaf Chai Tea
+ 1/2 orange peel
+ 2 cinnamon sticks
+ 1 vanilla bean pod

Cocktail Suggestion:  Hot Chai Tea Toddy – Serve 1 1/2 oz tea-infused vodka + 1 cup hot water with a squeeze of orange.

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Black Tea // Habenero + Garlic

black tea garlic habenero

+ 1 Tbs loose leaf black tea
+ 3 small habenero peppers
+ 5 garlic cloves

Brew Time: 2-3 days, depending on how spicy you like it.

Cocktail Suggestion:  The Perfect Bloody Mary –  Serve 1 1/2 oz tea-infused vodka over ice + 3/4 cup V8, a dash of worcestershire, dash of hot sauce, squeeze of lemon, and salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with a celery stalk and stuffed olives.

black tea garlic habenero

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White Tea // Strawberry + Rhubarb + Vanilla + Mint

strawberry rhubarb vodka

+ 1 1/2 Tbs White Tea
+ 4 whole strawberries
+ 1/4 rhubarb stalk
+ 1 vanilla bean pod
+ handful of mint leaves

Cocktail Suggestion:  The Strawberry Shortcake  – Serve 1 1/2 tea-infused vodka over ice + 1 cup vanilla seltzer.  Garnish with a sliced strawberry and mint.

 

strawberry rhubarb vodka

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Lavender Tea // Lemon + Mint

lavender lemon mint vodka

+ 1 Tbs lavender tea
+ 1 Tbs loose garden lavender
+ 1 lemon rind
+ handful of mint leaves

Cocktail Suggestion:  Lemon Lavender Spritzer – Serve 1 1/2 oz tea-infused vodka over ice + 1 cup seltzer water and a squeeze of lemon.  Garnish with a lemon twist and mint.

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Peach and Ginger Tea // Peach Slices + Mint

peach mint tea

+ 1 peach oolong tea bag
+ 1 ginger tea bag
+ 1/2 peach, sliced
+ handful of mint leaves

Cocktail Suggestion:  White Peach Sangria – In a large pitcher, add 1 cup tea-infused vodka + one bottle sweet white wine {Moscato or Reisling works great}, 1 sliced peach, 1 sliced apple, and 1/2 cup grapes, halved.  Let chill for at least 2 hours before adding 2 cups chilled seltzer water and serve.

 

infused vodka

peach  mint tea vodka

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Did you know that vodka is just as good as a stress reliever as red wine?  Science proved it.

And did you know tea contains boat-loads of antioxidants?  If you hadn’t heard, antioxidants are those awesome compounds that fight against free-radicals that contribute to aging, cancer, and other chronic disease.

I’m not saying that drinking tea-infused vodka will help cure cancer, unclog your arteries, or make you look 10 years younger… but it will certainly taste refreshingly delicious, save you calories, and at the least, make for a fun summer afternoon!

Recipe ReDux InLinkz Link-Up

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It’s a Good Life

What a weekend.

I can’t stop smiling.

Beach, beer, costumes, good food, awesome people, this video…

And this one…

You’re welcome.

And to top it all off, my background check went through! Woohoo!  I get to start at French Hospital tomorrow!

I have work to do, and I’m already running behind schedule, so that’s all you get for now.

Oh, man. So happy.

Have a great Monday!

Lemon Meringue Cookies

Hey there!

I have spent my day baking up a storm and listening to Pixies radio on Pandora.  It’s been the perfect Saturday.

Loving the sunshine flooding in through my kitchen window…

And finding a way to satisfy my craving for peeps in a bit healthier way. 🙂

Lemon Meringue Cookies

From Country Living.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 2-3 hours

Ingredients:

  • 6 egg whites (at room temperature)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure lemon extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine egg whites, lemon juice, and salt.  Beat using a mixer on low until frothy.
  4. Add in lemon and vanilla extracts and increase mixer speed to medium.
  5. Add the sugar in a slow, continuous stream.  Increase mixer speed to medium high.
  6. Continue to beat meringue mixture until stiff peaks form.
  7. Spoon (or pipe) meringue on to cookie sheets and place in oven.
  8. Bake for 1 hour.
  9. Without opening the oven, reduce heat after one hour in up to 175 degrees.  Bake for an additional 2 hours (or more) until cookies are completely dry.
  10. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool for about 45 minutes.
  11. Cookies will keep for about one week in an airtight container.

Hello! Way better than peeps!

So easy to make!  AND low in calories!

Hell to the YES! Sign me up for seven!

Just kidding.

…sort of.

Perfect for Easter get-togethers!

Enjoy!

It’s a Party!

Well hello baby loves.

Last night we celebrated something awesomeKATIE’S Birthday!

We went to Lento, which was absolutely divine.

Here is a brief description found on their website:

“A truly gourmet experience, everything from the bread on your table to the dessert at the end of your meal is made completely from scratch.  Lento features daily menu changes along with an emphasis on locally grown and organic food.

The food, drinks, and company was amazing.

We, of course, started out with a round of drinks.  And to our delight, Thursday nights are buy one cocktail, get the second free!

Greyhound
Grapefruit Vodka, grapefruit juice, grapefruit bitters

Something Wicked…
Kaffir Lime Vodka, coconut rum, carrot, orange, cilantro

Pisco Sour
Pisco, lemon, lime, egg white, bitters

I’ve been on a Pisco Sour kick lately.  While this was good, I think I still prefer Good Luck’s.

Next up was a variety of oysters on the half shell.

Katie had to convince both Annie and I to give them a try…

We both worked up the courage to give them a go!  I’ll try anything once!

Definitely a success! They were very good!

Our meals arrived shortly after…

Annie: Parsnip and spinach cakes with curried lentils in a carrot ginger sauce (vegan)

Katie: Spicy shrimp coconut soup with rice and cilantro

Stephanie: Cavatelli pasta, wild mushrooms, Red Russian kale, tomato sauce, Pecorino Romano topped with toasted bread crumbs (Obviously, I was not following my low FODMAPs diet last night!)

Oh my goodness. This was to. die. for. The rich flavors, the exquisite combination of textures, ohhhhh… I can’t wait for lunch time leftovers! My mouth is watering.

More oysters!

More drinks!

The Red Queen
Mandarin Blossom Vodka, peach blossom liqueur, blood orange syrup, lime

The Main Squeeze
Chinaco Blanco Tequila, Aperol, grapefruit, lime, ginger

We can’t forget dessert!

Espresso ice cream filled profiteroles.

All three of us are coffee addicts, so the dessert decision was an easy one to make.

Then it was across the courtyard to Salena’s for birthday margaritas!

Margaritas must be had on birthday’s.  It’s a rule.

Happy Birthday Katie!

Now time to run, cook, and rest up before part 2 of the celebration!  Oh yes, nutrition girls know how to do it up right!

Have a great Friday!

The Day After

Oh. My. GOSH! How FUN was yesterday?! So fun.

The day started out with Johnny’s Runnin’ of the Green.

Josh’s getup {or lack thereof} was a hit!

I was really pleased with my time, as the race was a rather last minute decision.

Results
Time: 36:40
Pace: 7:20/mile
Overall Place: 305
Age Group Place: 17

Josh kicked major booty too –  33:12 // 6:38/mile.  Speed.Demon.

The race was followed by beers, sunshine, naps, delish food (Thanks to Dave and Mary!), more beer, and a batch of botched [but still edible!] brownies.

A successful St. Patrick’s Day indeed!

I’m also amazed by how good I feel today.  I’m taking precautionary measures by rehydrating and going on a longer-ish, slow run.

How’s was your St. Patrick’s Day?

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

A good morning to ya!

I’m up and ready to stumble my way through an impromptu race [well, at least for me].

Hopefully I will be able to handle the 5 miles.  I’m being completely serious. I may die.

I am going to keep this short and sweet because I need to scour through my closets and old costume boxes to find all things green.

I can’t wait to fill up on soda bread!  I may even have a Guinness (even though it’s not vegetarian! Ohhh shiittt!)

Have a lovely {and safe} St. Patrick’s Day!

A Week in Review + St. Patrick’s Day!

Helloooo Friday!

Who are we kidding here?  I always have fun.

So yesterday brought to a close classes for the first week of Spring quarter, and I must say, I think I am going to have a blast during the next {10} weeks.  All of my professors are engaging, fun, and thought provoking, which is such a relief, due to the fact that the difficulty level [I feel] will be quite lower than past quarters.  I don’t wanna be bored, yo!  And thanks to these awesome teachers, I’m fairly sure I won’t be.

Today is my first day at my community nutrition site, On Nutrition.  I am really excited to learn what I will be doing.  You may have a second opportunity to read my flowing prose {ha!} on her blog. And maybe even see my goofy smile, as she had asked me about my interest in vlogging when we spoke on the phone the other day.

Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day!  Crazy, huh?  I certainly have some Irish in me, so beers are a given.  I must do my duty and make the O’Bryan side of my family proud.

I’ve actually never had green beer before… I’ll let you know if that changes after tomorrow.

Okay, time to get moving!  Have a great Friday and an even better Saturday! Woop Woop!

You know it.

May the Luck of the Irish be with you!

Slàinte!