I'd tried every flavor from mint to passionfruit, added lemonade floaters and sugared the rim, but my iced tea habit was getting old. As refreshing as a glass of iced tea can be on a hot summer day, I needed something new and different.
This drink is halfway between a classic Arnold Palmer and a vivid red sangria. Adding ginger and blackberries to the tea punched up the flavor, and using sparkling apple cider instead of a sugar syrup gave it just the right amount of sweetness. Serve it in a wineglass garnished with blackberries—it's the perfect nonalcoholic thirst quencher for lounging on the front porch.
About the author: Christianne Winthrop is a freelance food writer, caterer and culinary instructor. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband Bob and their beta fish, Hercules.
- Active time: 20 minutes
- Total time:2 hours, 20 minutes (includes chilling)
- 2 cups water
- 1 pint blackberries
- 1" long piece of fresh ginger, finely minced
- 2" length vanilla bean pod
- 4 bags Earl Grey or Lady Grey tea
- 2 cups chilled sparkling apple cider
- garnish: 12 blackberries
Place water, 1 pint blackberries, and ginger in a 2-quart pot and bring to a boil. Slice vanilla bean open, scrape out seeds and add to pot.
Remove pot from heat and add tea bags. Cover and let steep for 15 minutes. Strain mixture into pitcher, pressing on solids to get every last drop. Chill for at least 2 hours.
To serve, add sparkling cider to pitcher and stir gently. Divide blackberries among serving glasses and top with sangria.