For the third and final week of the Tazo Cookoff, I faced a bit of a dilemma: the pears that I had been presented to use in my recipe weren’t as ripe as I would have liked them to be. They would have been fine in a few days, but I was headed out of town and only had one night to get my recipe done. To make matters worse, the only thing I felt like eating was a sandwich — which put a quick end to my idea of poaching the pears in tea and making them into a chutney to eat with lamb chops and polenta (I mean, I like to cook, but I’m not about to make something like that when I’d be happier with a simple panini!)
As I tried to think of ways to incorporate the tea and pears into my sandwich or a side dish, I remembered the sangria-like iced tea that I had at Radiance Tea and Bookstore this spring. It seemed like the perfect accompaniment to my sandwich as well as a great way to use up some other fruit before I headed out of town.
The resulting tea was a nice change of pace from my standard unsweetened black tea, and I plan to make it again often. I especially loved the way that the ginger flavor infused the fruit — it was unexpected and extremely refreshing. Eating the fruit at the bottom of the glass was just as much of a treat as drinking the tea!
Ginger Tea Sangria with Honey-Macerated Fruit
Although this tea can be served immediately, letting it chill for at least one hour before serving will allow the flavors to fully develop and will yield the best results. The amount of honey used here results in a very lightly sweetened tea — if you like your sweeter, you can add more to taste. For a refreshing summer cocktail, add 1/2 cup of orange or pear flavored vodka.
- 2 pears, peeled, cored, and diced
- 1 peach, pitted and diced
- 1 cup blueberries
- 2 Tbs honey
- 3 bags Oolong tea
- 2 bags Orange Ginger Tea
In a large bowl, combine the fruit and honey. Toss well to coat. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, add 3 cups water and the tea bags. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and allow to steep for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags.
Fill a 2-quart pitcher with ice. Pout the tea into the pitcher, allowing the ice to melt. Stir well. Add the fruit, along with any juices that have accumulated in the bottom of the bowl. Chill for at least one hour before serving.
Yields 8 cups.