Green Tea Gin & Tonics + Key Lime Green Iced Tea

I planned all sorts of things for this summer’s trip to Tofino. Beaching! Sobo! Tacofino! Kayaking! Books! Long healthy runs on the beach (maybe)! A monster head cold was not part of the plan. It moved in, set up camp and is showing no signs of budging.

I have produced enormous quantities of phlegm and gone through boxes of Kleenex. At the beach, I’m the one with wads of damp Kleenex in the pockets of her fleece. Fortunately, my mom is here.

She’s making me poached eggs on toast, and ensuring I drink lots of water. But there’s only so much water I can muster, and so I started drinking her summer bevvy of choice, the one she brings out to the garden with her: a key lime, which are those little round ones the size of a large marble and come by the bag, squeezed over ice and then topped with green tea she steeps once in awhile and then pours into a pitcher in the fridge to chill. She rubs the cut halves of the limes over the rim for added flavour – like rimming a margarita – simultaneously scraping some of the pulp into the glass.

Damn, but it’s refreshing. And far tastier than water when you’re forced to chug a glass an hour. It’s tart, but clean – she doesn’t add sweetener, but you could stir in a spoonful of honey. This is what I do at night, when it’s hot green tea (or just hot water) and a squeeze of key lime in a mug by my bedside. I have been known to take this with a nap at 10am. This one, she’s a doozie.

Also, I decided it was as good an excuse as any to try this green tea infused gin I heard about at a tea tasting at Silk Road in Victoria last weekend – they handed out cards with recipes on it, and one of them was for Earl Green Gin & Tonics. Yes, please. Their Earl Green – tea of metamorphosis (appropriate, no?) is green tea with bergamot fruit essence, delivering the best of both tea worlds. You could, I’m sure, steep any loose tea you fancy would go in a g&t, and did you know you get more antioxidant benefits from the tea when you drink it with alcohol? It’s true.

Essentially what you do is steep leaves in gin – no need to heat it up – about 6 Tbsp. per 2 cups.

(I experimented with a smaller batch.)

Stir it in, let it sit for 20 minutes while you go to the ice cream shop, come back and strain it.

And that’s it – you have green tea-infused gin with which to make gin & tonics.

Hopefully without the phlegm.


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18 comments on “Green Tea Gin & Tonics + Key Lime Green Iced Tea

  1. Dan Clapson
    July 29, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    Well, I think it’s only fitting that I am the first comment on this one, as I love to put tea in everything, but I did not know you could steep tea in gin w/o heat. Awesome, awesome!

    I am actually going to try this tomorrow. Maybe some sort of rooibos tea cosmopolitan? Or something…we’ll see… 🙂

  2. Anita
    July 29, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    Summer colds are a pain! My daughter caught the biggest one ever this week also! Her craving was chicken soup and she didn’t have any on hand! Husband out of town, couldn’t run to town to pick some up, phoned me, her mom, in a panic as to what she could do! I suggested the chicken bouillion in a mug, …she was in heaven! Today she is feeling much better, but is still dealing with this lousy summer cold!
    I love “Silk Road” in Victoria! Always make sure we stop in there when travelling in Victoria!
    Hope your Summer cold gets better fast!

  3. Wendy
    July 29, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    So sorry you have a cold on your vacation time – how do colds know when their arrival would be absolutely the most inconvenient? Only consolation I can think of right now is that I would rather have a cold in Tofino than anywhere else – lots to take your mind off it, especially the great ideas for tea-infused gin. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Regan @ The Professional Palate
    July 30, 2011 at 3:39 am

    I LOVE Gin & Tonic… and LOVE that you made it a little healthier!

  5. Kristy Lynn @ Gastronomical Sovereignty
    July 30, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Aw, I feel bad for you. I’ve lived in Vic for the last 5 years and have yet to make it to Tofino – I can’t imagine how crappy it would feel to get sick while I was there.

    That being said, what a good excuse for alcohol “flavored” tea!

  6. CathyH
    July 30, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    Must try this. As for the book request, Have you read ROOM by Emma Donoghue? You won’t be able to put it down.

  7. Lori E
    July 30, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Awwww. Stupid cold. Kick its a@@ with that green tea. The gin is a bonus just for you.
    What is not to love about Tofino. Always a favourite place to visit.

  8. Laurie from Burnaby
    July 30, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    One huge book to read while you’re sick is “Prussian Yarns”
    Take it easy and get well before your holiday is over so that you can enjoy it


  9. Lori in Edmonton
    July 30, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    Note to self….do not put tea leaves in gin and have a little nap. 45 minutes is way to long to let them “steep”. I’m going to try the next glass, with half tea gin and half regular gin.
    Sorry you’re not feeling well. Jealous you’re near the ocean.

  10. Colin Brandt
    July 31, 2011 at 9:38 am

    Awesome idea, Julie! I never thought to use Earl Grey in gin before – I imagine it might have come out tasting a bit like Hendrick’s.

    I’ve tried steeping Silk Road tea in gin before – 1/2 Monk’s Elixir, 1/2 Casablanca. Mint and lemongrass flavor…so good with panang curry.

  11. Barb
    July 31, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    So sorry you are sick there. Take it easy.

  12. Lisa
    July 31, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Hey Julie – sorry you’re sick, that green tea gin and tonic sounds like an excellent “tonic”!

    I just got back from Vancouver, with a a) a cold, and b) a tremendous love for Tacofino fish tacos. They were set up outside the Vancouver Art Gallery, and I could easily have sat there most of the day eating fish tacos and drinking their delicious lime/mint slushies.

    Anyone know where to get a decent fish taco in Calgary…?


    • JulieVR
      July 31, 2011 at 7:55 pm

      Ha! as I read this I’m sipping the last of my lime-mint slushie (best summer drink ever) and finished my fish taco in about five seconds flat fifteen minutes ago. Wondering if I should go back for more…
      I haven’t seen anything like it in Calgary. Besides, being out here and eating it with sandy flip-flops at the driftwood tables is all part of the experience..

  13. Vivian
    July 31, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    “Silk Road”…love that store! I am at the moment inhaling from my “Lapsang Souchong”…teeny lidded disc, also “Red Bush Chai” and “Angelfire”… Divine! Try to convince them to open a store in Alberta…please. I don’t brew the tea…I just inhale the essense of the tins! What an amazing world…that of TEA!

  14. Deb
    August 1, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    You, my dear, sound like you have a sinus infection. If so, you need to go to the doc and get meds. LOVE that you can still muster a gin & tonic recipe!

  15. Lana
    August 3, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Feel better soon, sweet friend! I will make some infused gin tonight, as I am on holidays this week and will toast you with it.
    Love to you!

  16. Jen
    August 7, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    Lime-mint slushies,fish tacos or Tuna Ta-Tacos, and a Diablo cookie= perfection

  17. united airlines
    June 24, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    Today, I went to the beach front with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it
    to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear
    and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had to tell someone!

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