4 Perfect Recipes for a Tea-Riffic Dinner Party!

Cooking with tea is an age-old practice. Tea, in its many forms, can provide both flavor and nutrition to any food or drink! If you're looking to inspire and impress some guests with a three-course dinner (and drink!) all made with tea, look no further!

Cocktail: Raspberry Renaissance

Serves 15
This Raspberry Delight-infused cocktail is sure to deliver a refreshing Raspberry flavor! The wonderful thing about this green tea is its versatility -- it's wonderful iced, hot, in a cocktail, or even in salad dressing!
- 12 tsp of Raspberry Delight Green Tea (a 50 gram bag should do the trick!)
- 750 ml of vodka (that's a whole bottle)
- 12 cans of Ginger Beer
- 4 limes, cut into wedges
1. Pour vodka into a separate decanter, large enough to pour all 750 ml in and have some room.
2. Add 12 tsp. of Raspberry Delight into the vodka. You might want to stir it a little to make sure the leaves are completely saturated in order to get the maximum amount of flavor.
3. Let the vodka-tea concoction sit for 8 hours -- it's a good idea to start the steeping in the morning, or do it overnight.
4. After 8 hours has passed, strain the leaves out of the vodka. The vodka should have a gorgeous red hue to it!
5. Pour 1.5 oz of Raspberry Delight Vodka over ice. Add 5 oz of Ginger Beer and stir lightly.
6. Serve with a lime wedge on rim.
If you're looking for another mixer to pair this Raspberry Delight Vodka with, try adding lemonade!

Appetizer: Rooibos Butternut Squash

Serves 4

This wonderful recipe was concocted by no other than Kellie Covert, one of our cha bo shis! Kellie loves experimenting with tea and food -- you'll see her name on this post more than once! This recipe is a lovely combination of sweet butternut squash and nutty Traditional Rooibos, creating a decadent, delicious flavor. Plus, Rooibos is chock-full of antioxidants and Vitamin C, giving your recipe a kick of health as well!
- 2 sticks of butter
- 8 tsp. of Traditional Rooibos
- 1 large butternut squash, cubed
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
1. Preheat the oven to 350º F.
2. Melt down the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over low-medium heat on the stove.
3. Once the butter is liquid, add the Traditional Rooibos.
4. Let sit for 20 minutes over low heat, stirring frequently. This ensures a strong Rooibos flavor.
5. Place butter nut squash cubes on a foil-lined sheet pan, spreading evenly.
6. Pour the butter mixture over the butternut squash evenly, mixing with your hands if desired. You don't need to strain out the Rooibos leaves -- they're perfectly healthy to eat, and add a nice crunch -- but if you wish to, you can!
7. Roast butternut squash for 30-40  minutes, or until tender.
8. Top with pine nuts.

Dinner: Lapsang Souchong Chicken

Serves 4

- 2 tsp Lapsang Souchong 
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1 tbs oil (sesame or olive)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced 
- 4 chicken breasts
1. Grind the Lapsang Souchong with a mortar and pestle, or in a sealed plastic bag with a rolling pin. When brewing tea, you want the long leaves for the maximum amount of quality and flavor, but in a rub for meats, you want a finer grain. 
2. Combine the ground Lapsang Souchong, salt, pepper, oil, and garlic in a small bowl.
3. Coat each side of the chicken breasts evenly with the rub mixture. Let sit at minimum 30 minutes in the fridge, covered. If you wish, you can let it sit for up to 24 hours for a more intense flavor.
4. Grill the chicken breasts for 4-6 minutes on each side, depending on thickness. 
5. Serve.
This rub is extremely versatile -- it can also be used to coat roasted brussell sprouts or broccoli!

Dessert: Darjeeling-Berry Sorbet

This is another recipe from the brilliant mind of Kellie Covert! This dairy-free dessert will be sure to please with the sweet flavor of the berries and the malty flavor of a light Darjeeling -- we like to use our Darjeeling: Makaibari but the Darjeeling: Kalej Valley will work too!
- 3 cups water
- 12 tsp Darjeeling: Makaibari (one 50 g bag will do!)
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 lb raspberries
- 1 lb blackberries
1. Boil 3 cups of water. 
2. Add Darjeeling, stirring carefully to make sure the leaves are fully saturated with water. Let sit for three minutes, then strain out leaves.
3. Add sugar to the tea, dissolving completely.
4. Puree the fruit in a blender or food processor. When done, be sure to carefully strain out the seeds with a mesh strainer. This may take 10 minutes or so, but it's worth it to have a seedless sorbet!
5. Combine fruit puree with the tea mixture. Let the mixture chill in the freezer for 3 hours.
6. Serve.
A sprig of mint garnish adds nice flavor and a fun pop of color! 

Since tea always comes from plants, it truly is easy to cook with! Even if you're not making a whole recipe, used tea leaves can be so yummy tossed on a fresh salad, or added into oatmeal for a fruity flavor. Do you have any recipes that use tea in them? Let us know! We're always looking for new ways to enjoy tea!


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