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Archive for January 2013

Make Gourmet Drinks: Tea Steeping 101 (Part 2/2)

Herbal Tea

Yesterday we went over some general suggestions about steeping tea, including specific advice on green, black, and oolong teas. Today let’s take a look at three more types of teas: herbal, white, and rooibos. Though non-tea drinkers may not be familiar with white and rooibos teas, they’re actually great introductions into the exciting world of tea! You can use them as a base for making gourmet drinks, enjoy them with a floral beverage syrup, or just drink them unadorned in traditional tea fashion!

Floral 3 pack

Herbal Teas

‘Herbal tea’ is a term that covers a lot of territory. That being the case, it’s hard to prescribe specific steeping requirements for the perfect cup of herbal tea. If any suggestions are provided by the tea company, follow those. Otherwise, it’s generally safe to say that herbal teas should be steeped with boiling water for 5-7 minutes. “Over-steeping” is definitely less of an issue with herbal teas than black, green, and white teas.

We recommend experimenting with the flavor of your herbal tea by adding one of our delicious floral beverage syrups to your drink. If you’ve never tried any of our floral beverage syrups before, check out three at one great price when you by a floral three pack, which includes Rose, Violet Lavender, and Orange Blossom. You’ll love them if you like to make gourmet drinks!

White Teas

White tea is lightly oxidized and withered in natural sunlight, producing a mellow flavor full of health benefits. When properly brewed, it’s a soft, glowing yellow color. White teas should be steeped with water that’s short of boiling (about 180ºF). You want to be careful not to “cook” the leaves with boiling water. Doing so will result in a bitter cup of tea that doesn’t fully release the flavor. Allow loose leaf white tea to steep for just 2-3 minutes. White tea bags can steep for even less time.

Because white teas have such a subtle, mellow flavor, we think they’re best consumed without any added flavoring. Feel free to try a floral beverage syrup with your white tea. However, you might enjoy the flavor more by saving your syrups for a rooibos tea…

Rooibos Teas

Rooibos tea (or red bush tea) comes from South Africa. It has a rich, dark flavor that is slightly nutty and sweet. It’s best steeped with boiling water for about 5 minutes. Though rooibos certainly doesn’t need any additional syrup, we’ve come to love this tea with Amoretti Premium French Vanilla Syrup.

Amoretti Classic Cocktail #14: The Mamie Taylor

Mamie Taylor

The last few installments of our Classic Cocktail series have included some of the more complex cocktails from the 19th century and early 20th century. While the Mamie Taylor hails from the same era, it’s perhaps the easiest classic cocktail recipe we’ve shared yet!

First, a little background… Mamie Taylor was a renowned opera singer at the turn of the century. In 1899, while performing at Ontario Beach, near Rochester, New Jersey, Taylor went sailing out on the lake with other members of the opera company. Upon returning back to shore, the company went to the hotel bar for drinks.

Taylor wanted something refreshing – “a long, but not strong drink,” according to a 1902 Post Standard article. She asked for a claret lemonade, but received something entirely different, mistaking it for sparkling champagne. To take some of the “edge” off she requested a lemon peel be added. Allegedly, bystanders were amused with Taylor’s pleasure in the drink, and began ordering themselves. When the hotel-keeper was asked the name of the drink, he instantly responded, “The Mamie Taylor!” And, so another classic drink recipe was born!

The recipe has undergone some minor modifications over the last 100+ years, but remains quite true to what Mamie Taylor “created” on that summer day in 1899. Twenty years later, Harvey Washington Wiley, in his book Beverages and Their Adulteration, wrote, “Mamie Taylor is a mixed drink of considerable vogue.” We would have to agree.

The Mamie Taylor Drink Recipe


  • Ingredients:
  • Directions:
  • Fill a Collins glass with ice. Pour first three ingredients, stir, and garnish with lime wedge.

    Obviously, this drink recipe is a breeze to throw together, and doesn’t require any expensive or hard to find ingredients. Just one note – when it comes to ginger beer, we think the spicier the better. Because spicy ginger flavor is such a key component of this drink, we think that it’s probably the most important ingredient. Your scotch whiskey should probably still cost more than your ginger beer, but don’t short yourself with an inferior ginger beer product!

    Also, while our lime syrup (one of our favorite unique citrus syrups) does have a little sweetness, its taste is primarily refreshing, real-fruit lime. Check out our other unique citrus syrups, and consider making your own substitution in this drink recipe!