I write this post with great relief as I have been fiddling with these bergamots since last week and haven’t been able to come up with anything that I would even remotely be willing to tell you about. Until now.
I tried a cookie, a truffle, another scone and some white chocolate bergamot bark — all largely ho-hum. I’m pretty sure I overcomplicated things with wanting to incorporate the bergamot with Earl Grey tea somehow. It just made sense to me that since bergamot oil provides one of the fundamental flavors, then of course the fruit itself would blend together beautifully. And they do!
But I’m not actually a lover of black tea so everything I tried just tasted too “tea-ish” to me. Oddly enough it wasn’t until I stopped trying so hard that I thought of doing a riff off an Arnold Palmer (traditionally black tea + lemonade). I assumed I wouldn’t like it much since every one I’ve had in the past was too sweet and cloying, but perhaps I could add something to spruce it up or tone it down.
To my great astonishment these three simple ingredients were phenomenal. The extravagantly aromatic sour orange is gorgeously balanced by the slightly sweet, musky tea. Looks like Arnold may have been on to something after all. I admit this isn’t exactly a novel recipe, but I am so smitten with it, that I just had to share.
I started with a Rosemary Lemonade recipe from The Herbfarm Cookbook
to get a starting point for the sweet/sour balance and built from there. The result is only slightly sweet and has a nice mellow pucker. This recipe makes a full pitcher.
Bergamot Iced Tea
- 2 cups water
- 3 bags of Earl Grey tea
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed bergamot juice *
- 4 more cups water
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil.
- Add 3 bags of tea and remove from heat. Let sit for 4 minutes.
- Remove and discard tea bags. Stir in 1/2 cup sugar and bring back to a boil.
- Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
- Pour the tea into a pitcher. Stir in 1/2 cup bergamot juice and the remaining 4 cups of water. Taste and add more sugar or bergamot juice to taste depending on your preference for sweet and sour.
- Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
* I used 2 medium bergamots, which gave me about a 1/2 cup of juice. A trick for easy juice extraction is to bring the fruit to room temperature and roll it on the counter under the palm of your hand before cutting it. This will break up the vesicles and you will get more juice with less work.