Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Bourbon Cocktails

Bourbon Strawberry Iced Tea

A glass of iced tea sits on a white surface, garnished with blue berries and strawberry pieces cut into stars, as well as a mint leaf. A pitcher of the same is in the background, and a white ramekin to the side holds more of the garnish.
Image:

Liquor.com / Tim Nusog

There are few things more refreshing on a hot summer day than a frosty, ice-filled glass (or pitcher) of iced tea. But sometimes you need to take things up a notch or two, and that’s when bourbon—a perfect accompaniment to iced tea—comes into play. Add some sweetness with fruit and sugar and a bit of tartness from squeezed lemon (itself an iced tea essential), and you have quite the pleasing summer libation on hand.

The Bourbon Strawberry Iced Tea is just that, a mellow summer sipper, perfect for the Fourth of July or any other day you’re craving something tall, cool and easy-drinking. Besides the fact that it’s a crowd-pleaser thanks to its flavors, it’s also a breeze to whip up, which is helpful if you’re making a suite of these for a group, say on a beach trip or when hosting a backyard barbecue. Muddle strawberries with lemon juice, shake it with ice, bourbon and simple syrup, pour it over fresh ice with unsweetened tea, and it’s done. All it needs is a straw and, optionally, some berries and mint for a striking garnish. This means you can easily make a batch of them and continue to refill glasses so long as you don’t run out of ice.

Another attractive aspect of the summery drink is its versatility. While strawberries pair excellently with bourbon, you could substitute something like raspberries or even blueberries, depending what’s freshest and most available. Similarly, why not mix things up and use a flavored tea? Something like a peach black tea or similar flavor can bring even more fruity, summery notes without raising the sweetness of the drink. And when it comes to sweetness, you can always adjust the levels of simple syrup or use an infused syrup, like mint simple syrup, to add depth to the drink.

For the liquor, bourbon is still the best bet, but swapping it for another dark spirit like an aged rum can work well. Be sure to avoid anything too botanical though, like gin or aquavit, as it might clash with the natural tannins in the tea and lead to an overly bitter final product.

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Ingredients

  • 2 large fresh strawberries (sliced into quarters)

  • 1 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed

  • 2 ounces bourbon

  • 3/4 ounce rich simple syrup

  • Unsweetened iced tea, to top

  • Garnish: blueberries

  • Garnish: strawberries

  • Garnish: mint sprig

Steps

  1. Add the strawberries and lemon juice into a shaker and gently muddle.

  2. Add the bourbon and simple syrup, add ice, and shake until well-chilled.

  3. Strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice.

  4. Top with unsweetened iced tea.

  5. Garnish with skewered blueberries and strawberries and a mint sprig.