I had always hoped that high tea would catch on in America the way it’s revered in the U.K.: English tea served in a pretty cup flocked by diminutive sandwiches, scones, and clotted cream. But it wasn’t until college when I was working in a tea house that realized that I could begin my own ritual of taking tea whenever and however often I wanted. Eureka! The endless imaginary tea parties of my childhood finally came alive.
I oscillate between perky peppermint blends and bold blacks, sometimes with milk or honey or both. And when I have company in the afternoon, I love to break out the botanicals and customize a hot toddy for the occasion – I’ll take any excuse to have a tea party. The beauty of the toddy is its simplicity. Choose a base spirit, such as rum, whiskey, scotch, or cordial, add a sweetening agent and hot water, and you’ve got a deliciously warming libation.
The true alchemy of the Ruby Tea Toddy is that the aromatics of the amaro fortify the floral botanicals of the tea: Lush hibiscus notes pop with the astringency of orange peel; lavender tempers the sweet essence of mint leaf and chamomile with a most sensual balance, a light herbal smack to the palate. This tipsy tea is a botanical daydream. It’s the perfect libation for inviting your gal pals over. Assemble a sumptuous snack to celebrate one another, as well as your daily feats, flops, and the pleasures of everyday.
❤ Little Bitte