I’ve been wanting to come up with a Springtime cocktail. Something that’s light, refreshing and bright. The other night, I was relaxing with my usual evening London Fog (Earl Gray Tea, Honey and steamed milk…in my case it was almond milk…and not steamed) and I wanted something sweet, so I threw together a bowl of pineapple and strawberries. The pineapple looked a little sad, so I figured a splash of St. Germain would help to brighten it all up (because St. Germain makes EVERYTHING better). And it did. Perfectly. But then something amazing happened. I took a sip of my tea and the Earl Gray flavors mixed with the lingering Elderflower on my tongue and it was delicious. Right then, at that very moment, I knew that I needed to concoct some sort of adult iced tea.
So I got to work. I brewed up some Earl Grey Tea, grabbed a bunch of bottles off the bar and quickly got to work. A little honey for sweetness, a drop or two of vodka for the adults, I felt like a mad scientist, only less sober but more sane. I was quite pleased with how it turned out. It was refreshing and vibrant. But you know how sometimes you make a drink and you can taste the alcohol in it? This isn’t one of them. All of the flavors join hands harmoniously and dance around like spring time butterflies. (I’m actually not drinking as write this, fyi.)
Speaking of fairies and butterflies, one sip made me wish that it wasn’t actually snowing outside. And I wanted it to be a nice warm day (not disgustingly hot…so like 65) and I’d be out on the back porch with friends, listening to music, playing cards, chatting and drinking this beverage. The iced tea made me, Mr. Winter, want it to be Spring right away. Ok, so technically, it is Spring, and on the day I made it, it was the first day of Spring, but it was snowing and then the next day the temperature dropped down to below freezing. I don’t even have a back porch, let alone a front porch, let alone a yard, to even drink this cocktail on. I do, however, have a very comfortable couch and a window, so I’ll most likely utilize that. Unless you’ve got a porch and want to invite me over. I am really starting to babble now. I need to steer this back to where I was heading, which was the name. Listing all the ingredients for this would be a mouthful. So thinking of where this transported me in my mind, it made sense to call it Back Porch Iced Tea. It’s not hooch. It’s not moonshine. But it’s the relaxing privacy of your own back yard, your own retreat.
When I first traveled down to New Orleans, I met a lot of Lance’s family: his amazing and fabulously fun parents, a whole bunch of friends and a plethora of cousins. One cousin, however, had something that I wanted. I wanted it bad. Her house. It was like walking in to a Pottery Barn catalog. The kitchen was glorious. A giant island in the middle. It opened right up to the living room with a roaring fireplace covered in stone and then all that opened up to a back porch. With a swing. And we all sat on that porch, talking, telling tales, laughing, reminiscing, getting to know each other, drinking wine. The weather was warm and dry. Sunny, but we were in the shade of the porch. It was a perfect afternoon. I didn’t want it to end. I didn’t want to leave that house. When I think of a back porch, that’s the porch I think of now.
This recipe makes 1 pitcher, it’s enough for about 4 people. If I had a larger pitcher, I’d probably double it. If you have one of those awesome drink dispensers, quadruple it! In all honesty, I’d actually recommend doubling the recipe. This way you can make more really easily. The only thing you have to wait on is steeping the tea, so having some extra, cold tea already made will just make it that much easier to whip right up when everyone wants more.
And if you’re like me and it’s still snowing or freezing or you don’t have an actual porch, I’ve created a playlist of some music that always gets me in a Spring-y mood. Hopefully it will do the same for you.