Rooibos Fall Sparkling Cocktail
October, 2014 · By Coryanne Ettiene
I’m never one to miss a trend, especially when it involves one of my favor teas. I first tried Red Bush or Rooibos Tea when I was a Rotary Exchange Student living in South Africa. It was the first thing my host mother gave me when I arrived… like English Tea, drinking Rooibos Tea is like taking a bath on the inside. Served warm, milky and with 2 spoons of sugar, it was the hug I needed after the long flight from home. I had it every morning and every day after school for a year; always warm, sweet and milky, never chilled. In fact it never occurred to me to serve it chilled until I started experimenting with iced teas when we landed in Dallas. Why, oh why I’d never thought of it before now is beyond me. Earthy and mellow it blends beautifully with citrus and cinnamon making it the perfect early Fall cocktail.
Rooibos Tea is emerging as the new “It” tea…move over Green Tea, Red is the new black (or shall I say green?). You’ll see Rooibos Tea cropping up in infusion drinks, baked good and even stews this Fall. I’ve started making a concentrated batch of cold brew and keeping it in my fridge, experimenting with it every chance I get. I like making a concentrated batch because it keeps the flavor strong and allows me to dilute it according to the recipe I’m working on. Concentrated cold brew is simple (and to be honest a tad lazy). Simply add 2 standard tea bags to an 8 ounce pitcher, fill it with water and then brew it in the sun for 4 hours.
- 4 Ounces of concentrated cold brewed Rooibos Tea
- 12 Ounces of sparkling water
- 3-4 Ounces of Vokda
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Handful of lemon slices
- Handful of apple slices
- Cinnamon Stick
- 1 Ounce of simple syrup, optional
Add all the ingredients to a tall pitcher and stir. Cover with a sheet of plastic wrap and allow it to steep at room temperature for an hour before removing the cinnamon stick and serving over ice. *Note, if you prefer your cocktails on the sweet side, add an ouch of simple syrup. As we move into cooler weather, I have great plans to replace the sparking water with still water and simmer the cocktail on the stove for a warm version, maybe even add a slash of apple cider to the mix to really embrace the fall spirit.