Summer Bummer Iced Tea, the sweet-ish reminder that summer's near

Daylight savings time is here and I don't think there could be a more obvious sign that spring is on the way.

I'm not a Winter hater, but come March I'm ready to ditch my boots and cut my pants mid-thigh. Give me heat, give me sun, give me anything but snow.

Summer's when I seek lightness and calm. It's the best season for slow-living adepts (which I'm not one of) and a good time to loosen up. 

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My tastebuds also shift around. At night, the luscious Old Fashioneds turn to velvety Negronis. The red wine makes casual BBQ appearances here and there but my boyfriend and I dive into crisp, mineral whites or start pouring Aperol in prosecco or sparkling water. 

Alas, it's still only mid-March and we're not quite there. However, I wanted to thrust my brain into a false sense of summer even just for cocktail time. 

I was jamming along to Lana Del Rey's Lust for Life album and had a sudden craving for iced tea (if that's a cliché, I don't know what is). Behold the bittersweet iced tea cocktail — The Summer Bummer. 

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I wanted something bright and fruity but with a little restraint, given my mood. I found the bright components when mixing equal parts crisp, herbal gin and pear brandy. Okanagan Spirits' Pear Brandy turns up the warmth a bit without overpowering the crisp taste of the Cirka Gin Forrestier I used in this cocktail. 

To play off the mixed berries' natural sweetness, I added Bonal — an amari-type floral liqueur — and a half-ounce of fresh lemon juice to give the raspberries and strawberries a chance at shining in the drink. 

To tie it all back together, Les Charlatan's Rosemary and Orange syrup sweetened the cocktail just enough without turning it into an sugar fest and without adding more booze than there already was. You want to be able to have two of these and still be able to find your shoes after.

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This recipe makes two servings

Ingredients

  • 1.5 oz gin (I used Cirka)
  • 1.5 oz pear brandy (like Okanagan Spirits)
  • .5 oz Bonal
  • .5 oz Les Charlatans Rosemary and Orange simple syrup
  • .5 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup of mixed berries
  • 2 cups of fresh brewed iced tea (I used an English Breakfast blend)

Method

  1. Add berries to your shaker
  2. Add gin, pear brandy, bonal and muddle the berries until they're nicely puréed
  3. Add the simple syrup and lemon juice
  4. Give it a good shake with ice
  5. Double-strain and split the contents of the shaker between two tall glasses (I had to help the purée filter through the strainer by pushing it through with a spoon)
  6. Add ice and top of fresh iced tea

I'm certain so many version of this cocktail could be made. What would you switch up or try in your version?