Tea Recipes

Saratoga Slush - Frozen Tea & Honey Cocktail

In the summertime, there's nothing better than a slushy drink to cool you down, whether you're spending an afternoon by the pool, at the track, or having a backyard BBQ with friends. 

This slushy, alcoholic drink is inspired by our popular summertime special: Iced Tea Lemonade! You can easily make this non-alcoholic by simply omitting the alcohol and we promise it tastes just as delicious!

 

slushy iced-tea lemonade cocktail in rocks glasses with lemons and tropical flowers

Saratoga Slush

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Brew your tea with 205° F water using a ratio of 10 grams to 16 ounces. (We want this to be super strong, so you're going to use more tea than you normally would!)
  2. Once the tea is brewed, stir in the honey until it is all dissolved.
  3. Mix your tea and honey mixture with the remaining ingredients, then transfer to freezer-safe containers. (Hint: I like to put it into smaller containers for better freezing and easier access!)
  4. Freeze your slush! It will probably take about 6-24 hours to freeze, depending on your freezer and containers.
  5. To serve, use an ice cream scoop to scoop the slush into glasses and serve with a spoon!

Making Saratoga Tea & Honey Co. Lemonade

1 part raw Alfalfa Honey

2 parts fresh squeezed lemon juice

8 parts water

Mix your raw honey with a little hot water to make a simple syrup. Add lemon juice and the remaining water, then stir to mix thoroughly. Refrigerate and enjoy!

Matcha Panna Cotta

Matcha Panna Cotta

Special thanks to local chef and friend, Sookyung Lee for creating beautiful recipes featuring our Matcha Wakatake.  We are so grateful for her sharing this recipe with us!

Ingredients:

2/3 c whole milk
2/3 c heavy cream
1/4 c sugar
1 T Matcha Wakatake powder
1 T hot water
1/2 T gelatin powder
2 T water

Procedure:

1. Sprinkle the gelatin powder on top of room temperature water.  Stir and allow to bloom.

2. Sift matcha into a small bowl, add in hot water, and whisk so there are no clumps.

3. In a saucepan, add in the milk, heavy cream, sugar and stir to combine over medium heat. Bring the temperature to a simmer on low heat, do not let it come to a boil.

4. Remove the pan from the heat, once it reaches a simmer, and add in the whisked matcha and gelatin.

5. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve, into a bowl set on an ice bath. Stir the mixture gently.  When it starts to thicken, pour into serving cups and refrigerate until firm.

6.  Garnish with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Variations for a summer treat!  Use Mango Infused Honey instead of raw sugar.  Garnish with mango purée and fresh mango hot days!

Matcha Panna Cotta With Mango

Kabusecha Ochazuke with Salmon

Chazuke, or ochazuke, is a meal that gets its name from cha, meaning tea, and tsuke, meaning submerge. This Japanese dish includes pouring green tea over rice. Traditional variations include toppings of pickled vegetables like eggplant or daikon radish, proteins like salmon, tuna, sashimi, or roe, and vegetables like green onion, spinach, and mushrooms. 

This version of ochazuke includes salmon cooked two ways, a salty, umami version and a garlic, butter and herb version. It features one of our Teas of the Month, Kabusecha Takamado. This tea from Uji, Japan is covered two weeks before harvest, resulting in an infusion with less bitter and more umami characteristics. You may find this tea brings to the nose and tongue springy notes of spinach, pea shoots, and creamy nuts. This makes for a perfect pairing over rice and salmon, as it provides an umami depth of flavor in unison with the fish and fresh herbs. 

Salmon Kabusecha Ochazuke

Yields about 4-6 servings 

Prepare Jasmine Rice following package instructions.

Miso Salmon:

1 medium-large salmon filet
3 t miso
3 t tamari
5 t rice wine vinegar

2 T water

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Combine miso, tamari, rice wine vinegar, and water in a bowl. Add mixture to a sealable bag and marinate for up to 6 hours. 

Bake on baking sheet for 12-15 minutes.

Salmon Kabusecha Ochazuke


Garlic, Butter, and Dill Salmon:

1 medium-large salmon filet
2 T butter
2 large garlic cloves
4 T lemon juice
1 T fresh dill, or dill to taste

Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Melt butter and mix together with garlic, lemon, and dill in a bowl. Pour mixture over salmon filet and cover in foil, place on baking sheet.

Bake for 12-15 minutes. 


For the Kabusecha concentrate:

Brew 3 tsp of Kabusecha Takamado in 1 cup of 175°F water for two minutes, right before serving so the tea is warm. 


For the plating:

Dill, garlic scapes, scallions, cilantro, and/or parsley
Sesame seeds
Wasabi
Soy sauce

Sesame Oil

Use a small bowl and pack down rice inside of it to form a rice ball. Flip it over onto a plate. Place salmon over the rice, and finish with your choice of fresh herbs. Pour over the Kabusecha Takamado infusion and top off with sesame seeds and other garnishes to tastes. Enjoy

Salmon Kabusecha Ochazuke

Simple Summer White Tea 'Sangrias'

I don't know about you but the last thing I want to do on a 90 degree day is turn on my stove and boil some hot water for my caffeine fix, and second to that is drinking a hot cup of tea. So what does one do when they need their tea but it's sweltering hot outside? Pull a pitcher (or jar!) of cold brew tea out of your fridge! Cold brewing tea is super easy and pretty much foolproof which is why it's our favorite way to prepare iced tea. Perhaps like me, you have a tendency to forget about your tea steeping on your counter, and by time you remember, the tea is bitter and unpalatable. With cold brew however, it's practically impossible to over-steep, so long as you don't forget it for days! I'll give you an abbreviated scientific explanation for why this is, so you can walk away from reading this blog with not only a few refreshing iced tea recipes but a little more knowledge too.

Why Cold Brew? Tea leaves contain a number of chemical compounds within them that when steeping break down, form complexes with one another and form new compounds. During the steeping process, thousands of volatile (aroma) compounds rise from the tea liquor and thousands of non-volatile (taste) compounds float within the tea liquor. Some of these compounds extract at a quicker rate than others. When you're brewing with hot water the time between extracting those first compounds and the last ones is very short so timing (and temperature) is everything. You have to stop the brewing process at just the right time to achieve the right flavor profile or else your tea will end up bitter. Cold brewing is the slow motion version of that process, the window of time between those first compounds being released and later ones being released is much larger so you have much smaller risk of ending up with a bitter cup of tea. The later compounds to release tend to be the more bitter and tannic catechins in green and white tea. Therefore, cold brewing tea tends to result in a less bitter, less astringent brew. You can also brew it stronger and have more of the theanine, more umami, more of the vegetal notes, and more of the high notes!

At Saratoga Tea & Honey we usually have 3-4 cold brew teas to choose from daily! And while we tend to be purists and love our cold brew unsweetened, sometimes you just want something a little more fun! Our Queen Bee put me up to the challenge to create some fruity tea mocktails to quench your thirst by the pool, at your picnic or at your bbq! For the three drinks below, I used three of our white teas as the cold brew base; Nan Mei Wild Buds, Bai Hao Yin Zhen, and Bai Mu Dan Wang.

At home, I have the Takeya Iced Tea Maker and I LOVE it, but since I was making three different teas I thought I would show you all how you can make cold brew with things you probably already have in your kitchen; a jar and a mesh strainer. Easy peasy!

First Step: Cold Brew. Place your tea in a 16oz jar. I just eyeball it with my cold brew because it's pretty foolproof, but if you want to be more economical than I am (I really should work on that!) you can measure out two loose tablespoons of white tea. It may seem like a lot but white tea is very voluminous and light. Fill your jar with filtered or spring water, cover and put in the refrigerator for 6-12 hours! Once your tea has done it's magic, strain it over ice into another glass! Now, for the fun add-ins!

Keep scrolling to see the thirst-quenching combinations I came up with!

Nan Mei with Peaches, Fresh Mint and Tupelo Honey 

Deliciously refreshing and summery, the idea of fresh mint and sweet peaches proved irresistible and what better honey to pair with peaches than famous southern Tupelo Honey! These add-ins compliment the tropical fruit and honeyed notes of the Nan Mei Wild Buds.

Bai Hao Yin Zhen with Cucumbers, Melon and Basswood Honey

The combination of cooling honeydew melon and refreshing English cucumber are a perfect pairing, and complimented by a touch of Basswood Honey, our light mid-western mono-floral that has a delicious hint of fresh spearmint. These add-ins accentuate the florality and vegetal notes of Bai Hao Yin Zhen (Silver Needles) one of China’s most revered teas!

Bai Mu Dan Wang with Strawberries, Lemon and Italian Lemon Tree Honey

Nothing says summer like the fresh flavor of ripe strawberries and an icy glass of lemonade. While there is no lemonade in this drink (you could certainly add some), the combination of fresh lemons and citrusy Italian Lemon Tree Honey adds that same thirst quenching quality. Also known as White Peony, Bai Mu Dan Wang is a more full-bodied white tea, and the perfect base for this combination of strawberries, sliced lemon and delectable honey from Sicily! 

There are so many fruits, herbs and florals that would pair nicely with these white teas, so get creative! I just went with what is in season and usually happens to be in my fridge. What are you going to infuse your cold brew iced tea with? Take a photo and tag us on Instagram and Facebook!

Crimson Berry Vodka Cocktails

Our Herbal of the Month, Crimson Berry, is one of the shop favorites!  It is tart, fruity and beautifully red; so when we heard our great customer Denny Severin was making cocktails out of it, we had to find out more!  These two refreshing summer drinks are so easy to prepare, and only require a little bit of time for the vodka to infuse. Enjoy, and thank you, Denny!

Crimson Berry Cocktail

Procedure 2-3 Days Ahead: Infuse 3 T of Crimson Berry to ½ liter of vodka for 2-3 days in refrigerator. Once infused, strain off the vodka from the herbal leaves and berries. Place in sealed jar in refrigerator. The infusion will last a very long time!

Crimson Berry Lemonade
1 ½ oz Crimson Berry Vodka
5-6 oz lemonade
Splash of club soda (optional)

Shake or stir in ice filled glass. Enjoy!

Saratoga Mule
1 ½ oz Crimson Berry Vodka
½ cup Ginger Beer
½ oz lime juice
Garnish with line wedge (optional)

Pour into ice filled glass. Enjoy!

Lemon Bars À La Provençale

An herbal twist on a classic recipe, these La Provençale lemon bars will make your whole house smell like a lavender and lemon dream. They are a sure way to brighten up any rainy, chilly, or dreary Spring day. This blend includes aromatic lemon balm, lavender, rosemary, and mint.

Ingredients for the Shortbread:

2 t La Provençale Herbal Tisane
¼ t salt
1 ¼ c AP flour
1/2 c good butter

¼ c sugar 

Short Bread Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a food processor, pulse together flour, sugar, salt, and La Provençale.
  • Transfer to a bowl, add in softened and cubed butter, then bring together the dough by hand kneading. 
  • Press dough into a 9x9 panned, lined with parchment paper. 
  • Let chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, then bake for 25 minutes, or until the edge of the shortbread crust is golden brown.

    Shortbread

For the Lemon Filling:

⅔ c fresh lemon juice
1 T lemon zest
1 ⅓ c sugar
3 T AP flour
4 eggs
⅓ c milk
Powdered sugar

La Provençale Herbal Blend

Preparation:

  • Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
  • Combine sugar and lemon zest in a bowl until the oils from the zest have been absorbed by the sugar. Then add flour.
  • Whisk eggs in a separate bowl.
  • Combine sugar, flour, and lemon zest mixture with the eggs, lemon juice, and milk.
  • Stir well, then pour over the shortbread crust.
  • Bake at 325 for about 30 minutes.
  • Allow to cool and garnish: sift powdered sugar and sprinkle La Provençale herbal leaves over the bars.

 

Enjoy La Provençale Lemon Bars with your favorite tea!

Matcha Energy Balls

Matcha Energy Balls

 

We love having simple and healthy snacks around that I can take on the go! These matcha energy balls are perfect for that because they’re so easy to make, very portable, healthy and delicious. The dates and nuts are an energizing, filling combo that packs even more punch when combined with the matcha.

Ingredients:

8 medjool dates

¼ c raw cashews

1 t matcha powder

1 t coconut oil

Optional: shredded coconut for coating the outside

Steps:

  1. Place all ingredients (except coconut) into a high-speed blender or food processor and blend until the mixture comes together into a really thick, dough-like consistency.
  2. Using your hands, roll the mixture into bite-sized balls.
  3. If you want to roll the balls in coconut (highly recommended!), spread some coconut on a plate and roll the balls around, pressing the coconut in so it sticks.
  4. Refrigerate for about an hour before eating and store leftovers in the fridge. You can also eat them right away, but in my opinion, they are best when cold.
Get more great recipes by visiting The Secret GF here: https://thesecretgf.com/matcha-energy-balls-gf-vegan/