Friday, July 18, 2014

Postcards from Bunny: National Tequila Day with Casa Noble!

When Bunny is traveling the world with her husband, Benedict, she does tend to get a little home sick.  No, not just for Chicago (though she is constantly craving the burnt crust of a Pequod's deep dish or the snap of a Portillo's dog), but for her home land of England.  "It's the tea I miss most when traveling," she says, "As every Englander knows, a good cuppa can fix a whole lot of problems in this world."

Recently, Bunny was brought back to her desire for a good old fashioned tea party in a very round about way.  She came to learn that Thursday, July 24th is actually National Tequila Day in the US, and as part of the celebrations, a fantastic boutique distillery called Casa Noble reached out to Bunny and asked if she'd like to help them create a cocktail.  Using their Anejo tequila (one of their 3 regular varieties), which comes beautifully decanted in a purple glass bottle, Bunny was given the jumping off point of whether she preferred a cocktail for the pool or the garden.  "Well, the garden of course!" she thought, "We British have skin too delicate for being in the sun too long, so we're usually found hiding behind gigantic hats and foliage."  Images of the kinds of garden parties she used to host in her youth came to mind and Bunny immediately started thinking about tea...

But how to pair tequila with tea?  Luckily, the Casa Nobel Anejo has some very distinct flavor notes of oak, spice, citrus, and vanilla, which lent it well to a floral tea like a hibiscus or rose hips, and as iced tea is pretty popular here in the States, Bunny decided on creating a sort of punch that could be served either individually or in massive amounts ("If Brandy is attending a garden party where liquor is involved, I have to plan enough ingredients to make at least four servings," she thought).  Slowly, the cocktail came together until she had a perfectly balanced, light and refreshing concoction that's not too sweet, not too pungent, and shows off the golden flavor of such a high quality tequila to the fullest.  Hopefully, all of our readers will try this little beauty out for themselves on National Tequila Day or at their own garden parties!

Casa Noble is available locally at Binny's and other fine wine and spirits retailers.

The writers of this blog were provided with samples of Casa Noble and compensation for ingredients in exchange for an honest review and the creation of this recipe. 

The Mexican Tea Party
1 part Casa Noble Anejo Tequila
1 part honey mead (Bunny used a brand local to Chicago that was flavored with raspberry and peach)
3 parts Hibiscus Rose Tea (Bunny used Republic of Tea's English Rose tea, which is also flavored with raspberry)
Simple Syrup to taste
Raspberry ice cubes
A sprig of mint for garnish

Place 3-5 tea bags into a gallon container and fill with warm water.  Cover and place in the fridge over night to cold brew.  The tea should be a crystal ruby color when fully brewed.  Take out the teabags, making sure to squeeze out any excess liquid, and discard.

To make the ice cubes: fill an ice cube tray with filtered water (this will create a more crystal clear ice cube) and place a raspberry in the center of each well.  Place in the freezer for an hour or more, or until frozen solid.

If making a large amount of the punch, combine the Casa Noble Tequila, the honey mead, and the tea in a carafe or punch bowl and stir lightly to combine.  Fill a short, wide glass with the raspberry ice cubes, then pour the punch over the ice and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint and enjoy!

Note: to make a single serving, simply measure out one shot of the tequila, one shot of the mead, and three shots of tea and sweeten with simple syrup to taste and stir in a martini shaker before pouring over ice and garnishing.

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