Food + Wine

green tea cooler

Let me explain to you precisely why I created this recipe.

First let me allow you to paint a mental picture of current Me. I am in extra large sweatpants and extra large John Lennon t-shirt on my couch with my laptop in my lap (ha. just got that). I retrieved such clothing from my basement guest room. So, just to be clear – I am wearing secondhand Abbey clothes.

Why? My husband who has come down with some sort of mutant monkey flu has taken over the master suite and I have been a guest in my own home for the past two days. My children are also suffering from something that I really just want to call the common cold because that sure as hell fire sounds a lot easier to manage than mutant monkey flu. So during this holiday weekend, after what was quite possibly the most stressful and busy week of my adult life, I am Nurse.

I am Nurse in extra large sweatpants.

I’m taking care of all three of the patients, while also trying to keep myself from being contaminated (those three could not survive if I went down right now), while also trying to keep up with the house and all the things that live within it.

This morning after my husband came down drenched with sweat but also shivering like a Bambi baby, I gloved up and stripped the bed (mutant monkey flu comes with a lot of sweat) and threw all the bedding in a hot wash. Husband showered and I sent him back upstairs with oatmeal, hot tea and iced grape juice. When husband called down to me moments later, asking me where I put the remote controls… I realized they had been tangled in the bedding and were now being disinfected in the washing machine. I quickly dug them out and they now sit drying with their fate TBD.

I won’t dwell on my current well being too much, since I do try to be a lady, but let’s just say I’m feeling… very lady right now.

Does it matter? Nope.

I have learned that this month (ok, well now it’s a new month, but like in the general sense of time… let’s go with ‘this month’) is not the month where I get breaks. It is not the month when I get help or pity or any of those frills.

No. This is the month when I give. And I work. And I get stressed out, and I question how much I’m doing and if I should still be doing it all, and I just take care of a lot of things and people and make sure everyone around me is ok and feels special.

It is not the month when someone does that for me.

And that’s ok.

That is ok. Not getting what you want time after time is very humbling, and I’ve been craving some of that pie lately.

I know I live a charmed life. I’m aware of how good I have it. So any complaints that I make are just stress releases for me, and they’re ego checks and self explorations and growing up real life shit.

So, do I wish I could be doted on while I feel pretty crummy after working my ass off all week and do I
wish I could get a break and not have to be the boss anymore?

Sure. I mean, like yes. Totally, yep.

But I’m also really fucking good at taking care of people and making them feel loved and doing 6,748,302 things at once and making something out of nothing, and inside of that lies a great deal of power. It’s why I’m a good mother and housekeeper and partner and cook and it’s why people hire me. But remembering that I do have power inside of all of those things is something I need to actively work on. Feeling defeated within it is easy, but remembering that I’m good at it and a badass superhero because of it is more challenging yet super important.

So as I let my Split Pea Soup simmer for their dinner later and the rice cook in the slow cooker for their lunch, I decided to do something for me all at the same time. I decided that today I needed to consume a great deal of antioxidants to help me stay healthy and strong for my family (and all you other people out there who need me to do all the things), but also some liquor.

This cocktail is light and refreshing and, yes! healthy too! It’s lightly sweetened by the elderflower liqueur, but otherwise low in sugar. There’s also lemon, mint, gin, Angostura bitters, and some chamomile bitters that I know you may not own… so leave it out if so!

The gin I used is local- from Kinston, NC! It’s called Mother Earth and it’s fantastic. It was a present to my husband for his birthday, but I decided he wouldn’t mind if I opened it today 😉 (right, boo?)

And the chamomile bitters comes from one of my favorite boutique distilleries out of Napa Valley called Napa Valley Distillery that I stumbled upon on a press trip years ago. I order from them every Christmas.

And, do I need to coax you into buying Elderflower Liqueur??!! Oh my sweet goodness, if you don’t own any, own it now. The most common brand is St. Germain, and is easy to find at most liquor stores. It’s just so pretty and you must have some.

So I created it, tasted it, liked it, and drank it while I started telling you all about it.
And I do think it may be my new favorite way to drink green tea.

Fingers crossed it helps me keep mutant monkey flu away.

Green Tea Cooler

makes 1 large drink… remember it’s mostly tea by volume 😉

Make your green tea:

  • First bring some water up to a boil, and steep 2 good quality green tea bags in 8 ounces of water for 7 minutes.
  • Allow to cool (can be done in advance and kept in the fridge)

In a cocktail shaker, combine the following:

  • Your cooled 8 ounces of strong green tea
  • 1 ounce Gin – the more botanical, the better I say.
  • 2 ounces Elderflower liqueur
  • The juice of 1 small lemon (save a little slice for garnish, if desired)
  • 10 drops of chamomile bitters, if using
  • 4 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • handful of fresh mint leaves

Add ice and shake for several seconds.

Fill a tall glass with crushed ice.

Pour your cocktail over the ice to fill the glass.

Garnish with a lemon slice and mint, if desired.

Sip. Breathe. Basement Sweatpants optional.

cheers, ya’ll. stay well xx

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