Whenever Jennie Ripps and Maria Littlefield went out to a bar, they would struggle to find a drink that wasn’t overloaded with sugar, like their former go-to vodka cranberries, and that didn’t leave them feeling dehydrated. They wanted something light and fresh, something they could have more than one of, so they came up with a mixer they hadn’t seen on the market before — Owl’s Brew.
It’s the first tea crafted for cocktails, according to the Owl’s Brew website, a fresh-brewed and -bottled, all-natural product that is made with whole tea leaves, fruits, spices and herbs, with no artificial flavors.
There are three varieties currently out: the Classic, a blend of English breakfast tea with lemon and lime; Pink and Black, a blend of darjeeling, hibiscus, lemon peel and strawberry; and Coco-lada, a blend of black tea, coconut pieces, chai spices, pineapple juice and agave. They all run from $9.99 to $16.99 and are available in most states at stores like West Elm Market and Williams-Sonoma.
“Our first brew was simple,” Ripps and Littlefield wrote on the Owl’s Brew website. “We switched out cranberry juice for cranberry tisane. Our second step was to sub rooibos for sweet vermouth… Steps 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 were not quite as simple, but we won’t bore you with those details.”
Incorporating the teas into cocktails is pretty simple. They can be mixed with vodka, tequila, rum, whiskey, gin or champagne and served on the rocks or shaken in a “2 parts brew, 1 part booze” ratio. Here’s one such example, a warm antidote to winter’s chill.
2 parts Owl’s Brew Classic
1 part whiskey
Cinnamon stick as garnish
In a saucepan, combine the Owl’s Brew, whiskey and apple slices and heat until they reach the desired temperature. (But do not reach a boil.)
Pour into a mug and garnish with a cinnamon stick.
— Adapted from Owl’s Brew recipe