Does the image of sitting on a porch swing on a spring evening with a cool glass of iced tea conjure up happy memories of a time gone by, somewhat like you stepped into a scene from “To Kill a Mockingbird?” One sip of Belvedere’s new Lemon Tea Vodka will take you there with intense flavors of green and black tea mixed with a bit of chamomile, fresh lemon, ginger and honey. Last night in another picture perfect setting, the pool on the 10th floor of The Joule Hotel, Claire Smith, Head of Spirit Creation and Mixology, introduce the latest flavor in Belvedere’s vodka portfolio just introduced at the beginning of the month. I was an invited guest to the event.
Over signature cocktails made with the new flavor and delicious bites from Chef Joel Harrington, Claire discussed the basic ideas that went into the creation of the spirit which started with a love of green tea and her desire to incorporate it into a new vodka for the brand. After taste tests and taste tests the inherent bitterness that is often present in green tea led her to add first black tea, then some chamomile, lemongrass, ginger, honey and even a little rosewater to the blend to eventually end up with a refreshing and flavorful vodka that is not a “sweet tea vodka,” so the lightest touch of honey in the blend doesn’t give it the sweetness some flavored vodkas can have. Instead, this one made with 100% natural and additive free ingredients is light and delicious, what you would expect from a good glass of iced tea.especially when blended with lemonade like a jazzed up Arnold Palmer; added to a bit of tyme infused simple syrup and tonic water for a delicious Thyme Cooler; or simply mixed into a glass of chilled peach tea or ginger tea for a perfect poolside sipper.