Summer’s Arrival: tea, mint, lemon, bourbon

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Summer's arrival: tea, mint, lemon, bourbon; One Tough Cookie #TEAdays

It’s mid-April, which means there are fuzzy buds on the trees, crocuses nudging up from the earth, and people wandering around in shorts even though it’s barely 15°C. After all this time, it’s a relief to see signs of life again, but (if I may be truly honest) I’m perfectly content to fast-forward through spring all the way until we hit ripe, hot, sweaty summer.

Thus, in an attempt to usher our best season ever-closer, I teamed up with Alokozay Tea to create the perfect drink for when the weather finally warms.

Summer's arrival: tea, mint, lemon, bourbon; One Tough Cookie #TEAdays

It was so much fun to do the recipe testing for this cocktail — it felt like each attempt brought summer a little closer. I used Alokozay’s Mint Tea, which has all the bitterness and bright acidity of a classic black tea, but with a sweet minty finish. As someone who’s drunk copious glasses of both lemon iced tea and mint lemonade in the past, I knew that lemon would pair well with those two flavours. This left me to decide upon the booze, but, realistically, there was no competition: bourbon beckoned.

The result? A frozen tea cocktail I’d like to call ‘Summer’s Arrival.’

Summer's arrival: tea, mint, lemon, bourbon; One Tough Cookie #TEAdays

I loved that I didn’t even have to go to the store to buy the tea (though in Canada, it’s available at Metro, Food Basics and Adonis, and Bulk Barn stores), because I could order online through the Alokozay site. What can I say? I’m a sucker for getting packages in the mail — and this one arrived in just a couple days! If you’re interested in picking up some Alokozay Tea for yourself, they’re offering a coupon for One Tough Cookie readers that’ll get you $1.00 off any tea purchase, so enjoy!

Summer's arrival: tea, mint, lemon, bourbon; One Tough Cookie #TEAdays

Summer’s Arrival: tea, mint, lemon, bourbon

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 22 minutes

Yield: 4-6 cocktails

A frozen, blended cocktail that's perfect for when the weather heats up.


  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 Alokozay mint tea bags
  • 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (takes ~3-4 lemons)
  • 1 cup bourbon
  • ice
  • optional: lemon slices & fresh mint for garnish


  1. In a medium pot with the lid on, heat the 3 cups of water until they are at a rolling boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the 1/2 cup of sugar, stirring until fully dissolved. Turn off heat and add the 6 tea bags. Steep for 10 minutes, then remove the bags.
  2. Allow the tea+sugar water to cool to room temperature, then pour into a sealable jar or container. Add the 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice & the bourbon to the jar. You should now have roughly 1 litre of cocktail concentrate.
  3. Time to bust out the ol' blender.* Depending on how strong you'd like your drink, for each serving, add one cup of ice and between 3/4 cup - 1 cup of the concentrate. (The former will result in 6 less strong, more icy slushy beverages; the latter, 4 stronger, less icy beverages.) Blitz drinks until fully blended -- you might have to do this 2 drinks at a time, depending on the size of your blender.
  4. Serve in rocks glasses, & garnish (if desired) with lemon slices & fresh mint.

*This drink can also be made without a blender, but it will take more time. Simply thin the cocktail concentrate out with water until it achieves a flavour strength that you'd enjoy drinking straight. Then set the liquid in a freezer-safe, shallow dish (ideally with a lid), and allow to freeze 3-5 hours, stirring every hour or so. By the time it's done, you'll have achieved the same textural results.

Until next time!




This post was sponsored by Branding and Buzzing. At One Tough Cookie, I occasionally work with quality brands to create recipes I think my readers will enjoy. Working with sponsors gives me an opportunity to create unique, quality content more often. If you have any questions about the sponsored posts, please don’t hesitate to email me at

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2 Responses to “Summer’s Arrival: tea, mint, lemon, bourbon”

  1. Jordan April 15, 2015 at 1:21 PM #

    Yummmmm… I will definitely be saving this for summertime! <3

  2. DadAA April 15, 2015 at 9:24 AM #

    What a coincidence – I just happen to be bringing you a cup of bourbon today.
    (No, this is not another weird joke.)