Spanish Tea


by Raul Faria

The Spanish Tea cocktail was my winning (pats himself on his back) entry in a contest Korbel Brandy was holding. I was inspired by Tea and Brandy, the classic Hot Toddy and the vanilla notes I found in the Korbel V.S.O.P. Gold Reserve Brandy. I chose to zero in on those vanilla notes and turn the volume up a bit by adding Licor 43, a Spanish liqueur with vanilla, honey and citrus notes, homemade rosemary simple syrup to play off the tea and sweetened whipped cream to add texture. It’s a perfect cold weather cocktail, wanna make one?

1) lets get our tools together, we will need our barspoon, a whisk and a metal bowl or a blender, a measuring cup, jigger with a 1.5 oz and a .75 oz measure and a 8-10 oz Irish Coffee mug (or a tall, clear, tempered, stemmed glass). Our shopping list will be Korbel V.S.O.P. Gold Reserve, Licor 43, rosemary simple syrup, heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and black tea.

2) Now we have some prep to get ready. The rosemary simple syrup is super easy, simply combine 50/50 sugar and hot water, then once its dissolved throw in a “bunch” (the little plastic packs in the grocery store usually qualify as a bunch) of rosemary. Be sure to save one sprig for the container you’ll store it in and a few for the garnish. Bring syrup to a boil, lower heat to  “low” and then reduce for about 10 minutes. Allow to cool. Once cooled, remove the rosemary and transfer to a squeeze bottle or those glass O and V dispensers with the pour spout. Take one of the sprigs we set aside earlier and place in the bottle of syrup. Ok now we need to get our whipped cream done. 2/3 cup of heavy whip and two tablespoons of powdered sugar and throw it in a blender on high until you get the desired texture. Be careful not to over blend it because it can happen pretty quickly. If it does over blend, simply add a little more heavy whip and mix with the barspoon. We are looking for thick but POURABLE. Like a melted McDonalds milkshake. If you don’t have a blender you can use a chilled metal bowl and a whisk to get our desired texture.

3) Lets add .75 oz rosemary simple syrup to the heated Irish Coffee mug.

4) Time for the star of the show 1.5 oz of Korbel V.S.O.P. Golden Reserve California Brandy. This stuff is very smooth, lush, and carries that vanilla note that inspired this cocktail.

5) Next up let’s add our 1.5 oz of Licor 43. As I mentioned in the opener, I wanted to focus on the vanilla found in the Korbel V.S.O.P. Golden Reserve so that is why I chose to use Licor 43 as it contains vanilla and spice notes throughout that I though would play well with the Brandy. Licor 43 is a citrus and vanilla Spanish liqueur made from citrus, vanilla and herbs and spices, 43 in all! It is also said to be inspired by an herbal citrus liqueur that was popular during the Roman times.

6) Now let’s get our hot tea steeped and NUCLEAR hot. The hotter the better because we will only be using 4.25 oz at most of the tea, once it hits the room temperature booze its gonna cool off some so lets make sure its hot and that we pour it from a pot or something that can pour into the glass easy. Don’t burn yourself! The recipe calls for black tea but feel free to experiment with different teas, Box of Crayons after all:)

7) Now that all our ingredients are in the glass it we can now layer the cream on top. Take our barspoon and lay the concave bowl side down, with the bottom of the spoon facing up, over the top side of the glass. Start by pouring the cream over the spoon, as it layers over the top move the spoon along as you continue to pour slowly to create a nice layer. Depending on the tea temp and consistency of your cream there may be some clouds but for the most part you’ll get a nice clean separation of tea and cream. Garnish with a rosemary sprig and enjoy!

Spanish Tea- 1.5 oz of Korbel V.S.O.P. Golden Reserve Brandy, 1.5oz Licor 43, .75 oz rosemary simple syrup, 4.5 oz of black tea of choice, 2 oz of sweetened whipped cream. Build in mug and garnish with a rosemary sprig.

Here is a link to the contest page and be sure to check out Korbel Brandy’s page for more info on their Brandy and other cool recipes.

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