Simple champagne cocktails definitely deserve to be part of your late-summer vibe. One of the best representations of this genre of light, warm-weather drinks is Champagne iced tea. It’s super easy to make, delicious, and will be your next go-to for outdoor parties, brunches, or just lazy weekends.
There are two things you need for this. One is a demi-sec or sweeter sparkling wine. Veuve Cliquot created their Rich line specifically for making these sorts of drinks where you add in a spice, botanical, citrus, fruit or, in this case, tea to make the juice pop in the glass. The second thing you really need is a good, loose-leaf Earl Grey tea. Opening a teabag won’t work here. Spend a little more and get good tea for this recipe.
Beyond that, you just need some ice, a tea steeper, and a big ol’ wine glass. It’s that easy — so let’s dive in!
Champagne Iced Tea
- 4-oz. Veuve Cliquot Rich
- 1 tbsp. loose leaf Earl Grey Tea
You really need to specifically use Veuve Cliquot Rich for this. That expression, from the famed French Maison, is specifically designed to be poured over ice with a single extra ingredient as an accompaniment. In fact, this recipe is straight from Veuve’s own recommendations for this bottle.
The wine in the bottle is a bottle of classic champagne with a base of 45 percent Pinot Noir, 40 percent Meunier, and 15 percent Chardonnay juice, with a small dose of sugar to drive the taste away from dry towards sweet. You can grab a bottle here for $70.
As for Earl Grey, I like to use Windsor-Castle Earl Grey. It’s a very floral yet creamy and bitter black tea. It really works with the creaminess of the Veuve while pairing nicely with the citrus, fruits, and woodier edges.
What You’ll Need:
- Large champagne bulb, Spanish gin-n-tonic glass, or Burgundy wine glass
- Fine mesh tea strainer
- Fill the glass about 2/3 with ice.
- Add the loose leaf tea to the strainer.
- Pour the ice-cold champagne over the tea in two pours. Pour about two ounces of champagne and let it run through fully before pouring the rest through. A few small tea leaves will make it through the mesh strainer, that’s okay.
This is almost unbelievably refreshing. There’s a beautiful sweetness and very fragrant tea vibe that just pops with the fizz, yeast, and fruit of the champers.
Since this sparkling wine is built to be turned into an icy summer sipper, it really shines with the ice cubes and a single additional flavor profile. What’s really interesting is that the tea remains floral only on the nose while bringing a serious black tea bitterness on the palate with a smooth creaminess and touch of vanilla, grapefruit, and summer fields of wildflowers in full bloom.
I really can’t understate how crushable this drink is. Just try it while the sun is still out.
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