Wild Orange Blossom and Sevenberry Sangria

This summer I purchased a rather large tin of Himalayan Splendor at Tevana.  It was on sale marked from $75 to $20 and I was out of my black loose leaf teas.  I was expecting more of a Irish breakfast and found it to be closer to an darjeeling which I don’t dabble in.  It just sat there in it’s imposing tin, an impulse buy with no plan.  I was determined to find a pairing that would suit the tannin musky taste.  I tend to like a fruity petite sirah to balance out tannin and perhaps a herbal or rooibos addition would sweeten my tea pot without adding a sugar rush.

Tevana is a wondrous place for smells, large vats of tea fanned into your face allowing your nose to travel all over the world.  I am already a die-hard youthberry fan, most stores will have a mix of  wild orange blossom and youthberry in their front sampler.  Wild orange blossom is an herbal tea with citrus and apple peals, hibiscus flowers, and rose petals.  Less like a bag of oranges and more like a tropical garden, it has a flowery fertile smell and taste.  An ounce of this was already on my shopping list before I entered the store.  I wanted to try another stronger tea, a fruit punch for the pot.  I was introduced to the the acai matetini mate which was too close to the wild orange blossom and the raspberry riot which was too delicate too add to the black tea.  It was the sevenberry sangria that peaked my interest.  This green rooibos with hibiscus flowers, grapes, elderberries, black currants, and blueberries smells like all of those things at once.  With an ounce of sevenberry and wild orange blossom, I was ready to test my tea.

My first run was with the one teaspoon of wild orange blossom and half a teaspoon of Himalayan splendor in my eight oz cup and waited 5 mins to steep.  The tea was a deep amber color and smelled of citrus flowers in planter boxes.  The splendor added a earthy undertone to the tea which was welcome for a winter cup.  I needed a small bit of honey to liven up the cup.  For the sevenberry mix, I added one teaspoon of sevenbeerry sangria to half a teaspoon of splendor and waited 5 mins to steep again.  The dark blue sevenberry was the flavor powerhouse I had been looking for, it completely overwhelmed the splendor.   The splendor lent only it’s caffeine to the mix and kept it’s tannins to the background.   If you are looking for a truly fruity treat, mix equal parts of with orange blossom with the sevenberry and pretend you there isn’t a foot of snow on the ground.

Apple Pie Moonshine

We normally try to keep whiskey on hand during the winter months to add to hot cocoa or totties.  It’s been a brutally cold and I was craving something with a little more spice in my cup.  When we spotted the Midnight Moon flavored moonshine at Meijer the apple pie flavor was the only one with any appeal.  Cherry and strawberry had anemic berries floating at the bottom which was reminiscence of the fruit cups I hated as a child.  I am normally not a fan of favored alcohol, Malibu coconut rum tastes like sunscreen to me, so I was already weary when I decided to give Midnight Moon a try.

Midnight Moon Apple Pie has a medium caramel color similar to that of Markers Mark whiskey.  You can see a whole cinnamon stick bouncing around the bottom of the wide mouth mason jar as promise of things to come.  At 70 proof (35% alcohol/volume), it was sure to warm me up from the inside.  Upon opening the jar you are hit with the warm scent of baked apples and cinnamon.  Then you are left wondering how you are going to pour out the liquor from the wide opening without making a huge mess.  I opted for a turkey baster to take off the first few ounces before I felt comfortable pouring from the jar.  Plain, the moonshine offered no artificial notes and had a creamy buttery note instead of a hard oak taste.

I was feeling adventurous and tried a shot of the moonshine in my regular hot cocoa preparation.  I was expecting it to be too sweet but the creamy feel added to the chocolate which paired well with the cinnamon spice.  The milk base of the cocoa took away any firewater from the moonshine and made the whole preparation way to easy to down in big gulps.  This is definitely a staying in to watch Netflix kind of drink.

For my next cocktail, I made an English Breakfast hot toddy with the Midnight Moon Apple Pie.  The moonshine added enough sweet and sour to skip the lemon and honey.  I steeped my tea in hot water and a shot of the Midnight Moon for 3 minutes.  It tasted like a warm piece of apple pie washing over my mouth, and again, much too easy to drink.  Overall a delicious flavored alternative to my standard whiskey.

midnight moon