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Drink of the Week: Tea and champagne form a Spirited Sipper for holiday cooking season

The Spirited Sipper can be served warm or cold, depending on your preference. Being a Florida boy, I would go with the iced tea option.

SCOTT POLLENZ | Times

The Spirited Sipper can be served warm or cold, depending on your preference. Being a Florida boy, I would go with the iced tea option.

As we enter the time of year filled with large dinners and get-togethers, palate cleansers pre- and post-cooking become imperative. Whether it's a glass of white wine or a shot of whiskey, most home cooks have a ritual to calm their nerves before tackling the culinary adventures awaiting them. This cocktail aims to be a light, refreshing drink to be sipped during those times. With the combination of bubbly champagne and the earthy and herbal notes of Earl Grey tea and spirits, you will find yourself destressed and your palate clear as you embark on your night of flavors.

Scott Pollenz, Times staff writer

>>EASY

Spirited Sipper

This drink can be served warm or cold, depending on your preference. Being a Florida boy, I would go with the iced tea option.

2 bags Earl Grey tea

Water

Ice (optional)

1 ½ ounces vermouth (see note)

½ ounce fernet

Lemon juice

Champagne to taste

Lemon peel, for garnish

Start by choosing whether you would like the tea to be hot or cold. If hot, steep the bags in a little less than 1 cup hot water. If cold, steep the bag in the same water, then let cool for a few minutes before proceeding.

For a cold drink: Pour the tea over a handful of ice in a mixing glass, then add the vermouth, fernet and lemon juice. Stir until combined. Pour the drink into a rocks glass, top with champagne and a garnish of lemon peel.

For a warm drink: Nix the ice and add the hot tea, vermouth, fernet and lemon juice to a mixing glass. Stir until combined. Top with champagne and a garnish of lemon peel.

Note: If the taste of vermouth or fernet is not your favorite, either could be replaced with tonic, which pairs well with the citrus notes of Earl Grey.

Source: Scott Pollenz, Tampa Bay Times

Drink of the Week: Tea and champagne form a Spirited Sipper for holiday cooking season 10/31/16 [Last modified: Monday, October 31, 2016 9:39pm]
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