There’s nothing better than a cool drink on hot summer days, and for many people the beverage of choice is iced tea. But what if you want the taste of tea but you’re also hankering for a cocktail? How to choose? Tea lovers shouldn’t fret — there are options available that combine tea with alcohol to create a sweet and chilly summer cooler.
Mason/Dixon at Bar Louie, $9
Drinks with tea tend to have a Southern flare. The Mason/Dixon takes the South’s favorite drink — sweet tea — and adds a variety of ingredients for more sweetness and kick. In addition to fresh brewed tea, you’ll taste Deep Eddy Sweet Tea vodka, SKYY Citrus vodka and cane syrup. Served in a Mason jar and garnished with a lemon wedge, the drink starts out salty/sweet and finishes surprisingly light.
Info: Bar Louie, 7105 Mills Civic Pkwy, West Des Moines, 515-422-9640, barlouieamerica.com.
Redneck Tea at Jethro’s BBQ, $6
Rednecks aren’t known for being complicated, and that theory holds true when talking about Redneck Tea. It’s an unpretentious beverage, but the true iced tea fanatic can’t go wrong with this drink. It’s basically an Arnold Palmer (iced tea and lemonade) mixed with sweet tea vodka. There isn’t a lot of added sweetness, so if you’re looking for a punch-like drink, this isn’t really what you want. However, it was easy to drink and came in a trendy Mason jar with a straw.
Info: Jethro’s BBQ restaurants around the metro, jethrosdesmoines.com.
Louisiana Lemonade at Buzzard Billy’s, $5.75
If you like peach iced tea, you’ll love this drink. Fresh peach flavor provides a refreshing twist on the standard iced tea and lemonade. And there’s another twist — there isn’t truly any iced tea in this drink. The tea flavor comes from Jeremiah Weed Sweet Tea, a vodka that tastes just like the real thing. The layers of Peachtree schnapps, lemonade and vodka look pretty in the glass, but be sure to stir it or you’ll get a mouthful of syrupy peach when you try the straw. The drink is perfect for sipping on Buzzard Billy’s patio, and the peach flavor makes it extra refreshing.
Info: Buzzard Billy’s, 615 3rd St., 515-244-2899, buzzardbillys.com.