Tag Archives: mint

Bourbon Peach Tea with Mint

12 Jul

This summer while we were in Texas, we were lucky enough to visit the Garrison Brothers Distillery.  It is a lovely spot, and I’ll tell you what, they make some mighty fine bourbon.  It is smooth, delicious, and if you find yourself in the Texas Hill Country, it is well worth the visit.  While we were there, we attended the Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner fund-raising event for The Hye Preservation Society, the highlight of which was a super refreshing bourbon cocktail.  I could have sat there all day, in the shade, listening to music, and sipping away on that bourbon-laden goodness.

Bourbon Peach Tea with Mint, you are mine.

I’m not exactly sure how they made theirs, and I wasn’t stealthy enough to snag the recipe.  But since I had that first sip, I’ve been busy trying to recreate it.  I knew that the tea and mint parts of the recipe would be easiest, so I set out to tackle the peach portion first.  I wanted a really full peach flavor, but without a whole lot of effort.  I started out by making my own peach puree, then tried canned nectar, and finally settled in on the version that was easiest and lowest in calories – diet peach tea drink mix.  Lipton makes a really tasty diet peach tea mix that is only 5 calories per serving, and tastes just as peachy as the versions that require more effort and are higher in calories.  So while it is the least natural of the options I tried, easy and low-cal won out this time.

Now I’m no bourbon expert, but there’s one thing I know for sure – it is a crying shame to drink really expensive bourbon in any other way than served over ice and sipped VERY, VERY SLOWLY.  When deciding which bourbon to use for this cocktail, I decided to go with Maker’s Mark.  It is different than the bourbon distilled at Garrison Brothers, but it is still very tasty.  I love to use it in cocktails and cooking, and it’s perfect in this one.  Any bourbon could be used in this recipe, so if you have another favorite, feel free to use it.

Other than the tea, peach flavor, and bourbon – the only other thing you need for this cocktail is some fresh mint.  Throw a small handful of leaves in the bottom of a glass and muddle it, which is basically smashing it around a bit to release some of the mint flavor.  You want to just mash it slightly so that it is a bit darker in color, somewhat limp, and smells minty.

So good, so easy, and very refreshing.  Enjoy.

Bourbon Peach Tea with Mint
Serving size: 1 tall, cool drink of summer
Serves: 1

Glass filled with ice
Handful of fresh mint leaves
8 oz. water
1 T. Lipton Diet Peach Tea Drink Mix
1-1/2 oz. bourbon

Muddle mint leaves in the bottom of a tall glass.  Fill glass with ice cubes.

In a separate container, mix together the water and peach tea drink mix until well combined.  Pour over ice, and add bourbon.  Stir gently and serve.

Estimated calories:  110 cal/serving

Print it: Bourbon Peach Tea with Mint

Creamy Cucumbers with Tomato & Mint

5 Sep

If you have a garden, or if your neighbor has a garden, there’s a good chance that you are staring down a pile of cucumbers.  This time of year, the novelty of fresh cucumbers has worn off just enough that simply salting them and placing them on a plate for a snack or side is no longer enough.  The days of enjoying the crisp light flavor is over, now you need to make your way through them and get everyone else in the neighborhood to do the same.  I picked a few from my mom’s garden this weekend, each one so long that when lined up on the countertop it looked like I was manufacturing temporary peg legs for vegan pirates.  Long cucumber story short: we have a lot of cucumbers.

Many cultures have dishes that combine cream and cucumbers.  One of my favorites comes from my friend Sevda’s mom, who makes a dish with wilted cucumbers, cream and sugar.  It is deliciously light in flavor, but not all that low in calories.  I decided to start out with the same basic approach used in that dish by wilting the cucumbers in salt slightly before assembling the final dish.  To make the dish a bit healthier, I used fat-free Greek yogurt in place of the cream – this added a bit more body, a slightly sour flavor, and some protein to the dish.  And as long as I was making changes, I decided to add some flavors from traditional Turkish cucumber dishes, and threw in some mint and garlic.  The resulting recipe no longer resembled either sources of inspiration, but was a tasty compilation.

Creamy Cucumbers with Tomato & Mint
Serves: 4

2 c. cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
Kosher salt
1 c. fat-free Greek yogurt
1/2 c. tomatoes, diced
1/4 c. onions, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 T. fresh mint, sliced
2 t. honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the cucumbers in a bowl and sprinkle with salt, stir to combine.  Place in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes so that the cucumbers will wilt slightly.  Rinse thoroughly, and then drain excess liquid.  Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Estimated Calories:  60 cal/serving

Print it: Creamy Cucumbers

Notes:
– To make this a complete meal, consider adding cooked shrimp or cannellini beans
– To add more nutrients, serve on top of mixed greens
– To soak up the delicious sauce, toast a baguette and rub a clove of garlic over the cut surface, then serve on the side