Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Drinky Drink

I've been making a lot of progress on my proposal lately, so as a treat, I've been playing bartender at the end of a long day, sitting in one spot, writing, thinking, surfing the net, scribbling ideas, and maybe going to the gym or laying out.

This is my Italian Sweet Tea.

First, you have to make sweet tea, which, if done correctly, is basically tea flavored simple syrup. The only person who's ever actually given me a recipe more than "what do you mean, how do you make sweet tea, all you do is add some tea bags to hot water and add a lot of sugar, silly girl" is Dave's dad, the retired civil engineer. I have grown to love the engineers and their ability to articulate things such as abstract, ancient recipes like sweet tea into exact form. According to Donna Jo (Dave's mom), this tea was famous back in the day among Dave and Chris's (Dave's brother's) friends. So here is:

Dean's Sweet Tea
2 quarts water, boiling
2 Tetley tea bags
1 cup sugar

Steep 2 tea bags in the boiling water for no more than 5 minutes. Discard bags, pour tea into a pitcher, stir in sugar. Refrigerate and serve over ice.

(side note: I try not to make sweet tea very often because I tend to drink it by the gallon, which probably wouldn't be a bad thing if I used, say, Splenda instead of sugar. But I don't use Splenda unless I'm making something for my diabetic grandaddy.)

For the cocktail:
Fill a tall glass with ice. Add 1/2 oz limoncello, and fill up with sweet tea. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

This is a weaker drink. It's Italian because limoncello originated on the Amalfi coast since that's where lemons come from. I have been watching a lot of Mario Batali lately, and subsequently increased my love of all things Italian food. I can't believe I just pulled out that limoncello comes from the Amalfi coast. That's good trivia to have on hand. Of course, you can make limoncello yourself; that's another post, but Mario and Giada both have recipes over at Never had it? Don't wait a week for the lemon peel to steep in sugared vodka, just run out to your local liquor store and spend the $20 to get yourself a bottle. Keep it in the freezer and you'll be drinking it all summer. It's amazing on ice, after the ice has watered it down just a bit, after a big dinner.

I actually added some bourbon to the first version of this drink, but it was a bit too strong for me, hence the suggestion to only add limoncello. If you love bourbon (like Loren, who is just about the only person I'll willingly drink bourbon with, and even though I live in Lexington and by default *should* love bourbon), then by all means add it.

And then go burn off the calories on the Wii Fit, which rocks.

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