When you have guests over in the summer time, what's more hospitable than offering up a cool, tall glass of iced tea -- especially the grown up version.
As a home cocktail maker, I get a lot of repeat recipe requests, and pitcher cocktails are pretty high on the list. I get it -- when you're having people over, you don't always want to break out the shakers and the mixing glasses and be camped out behind your counter or cart. There's a time and a place for that (frequently, if you're me), but sometimes you just wanna take off your shoes and take the party outside.
Hence, a big ole pitcher of something cool, refreshing, and no fuss. Something delicious, but that plays backup to casual conversation instead of stealing center stage. Something that's going to put you in a happy place, not drop you to the floor. Something a bit like this floral, citrusy, honeyed herbal iced tea.
PRO TIP: The easiest way to make a pitcher of iced tea -- boozy or not -- is in a designated iced tea pitcher. It's such a useful tool to quickly make iced teas you can store in the fridge as a La Croix alternative when plain water is just too plain. Pardon while I gush for a moment over this inexpensive one from Takeya. It's BPA-free and dishwasher safe (two musts for me), airtight and leakproof so you can even store it on its side (or in a cooler, which I do frequently when I take it to the beach), and specially designed to withstand the rapid temperature change from boiling hot to ice cold, so you can brew hot tea and flash chill it in seconds.
I've developed this recipe to pair well with any loose floral tea, so pick your own favorite or use mine, this Rosewater Basil blend from Pinky Up. Tulsi, coconut, lemon verbena, rose petals, chamomile, and lemon myrtle combine for some serious summer vibes, and pair extremely well with aged spirits like the rum and cognac used here.
(1) In a 2 quart pitcher (that can withstand boiling water), add the rum, cognac, and two cups boiling water. Steep tea in the pitcher (using designated insert or large disposable tea bag) for 3-5 minutes as designated on tea package.
(2) Strain out tea, then stir in honey until completely dissolved. Add remaining ingredients.
(3) Add ice to the brim, then either shake (if using a sealable pitcher) or stir rapidly until ice cold.
(4) Serve immediately over ice or store for same day use in the coldest part of your refrigerator.