Last night, I decided to research a recipe for a Long Island Iced Tea, but I had plans to modify this recipe from the beginning. Instead of a splash of cola, I planned to use Chinò, which is a cola-like drink. However, where colas use lemon juice to give them their crisp tastes on the back of your tongue, Chinò uses the chinotto orange. This result is a slightly more bitter taste, something I’ve come to love the longer I’ve lived in Milan. So, my idea for a variant tea would use Sanpellegrino Chinò, and I call my concoction a Milan Iced Tea.
The first thing my research uncovered is that there is no hard and fast recipe for the iced teas. The liquors and extra ingredients change depending on which source you go to, but one of the more consistent ingredients is sweet and sour mix. I don’t have any on hand and couldn’t find any at the store. So I made do with wedge of lime and some cane sugar. I stayed away from refined sugar on this recipe, which I felt would be too sweet for me. But if that’s all you have around the house, just cut back the amount a little bit.
For my recipe, I used 1/4 lime, 2 tsps. cane sugar, 1/2 oz. vodka, 1/2 oz. gin, 1/2 oz. tequila, and 1/2 oz. rum. This is a great drink that requires very little prep time. In a metal shaker, add the sugar first and squeeze in the lime juice. Add ice and pour on the alcohols. Then close the top and shake for a minute. In a glass with plenty of ice, pour your mixute and splash in the Chinò.
Now, you may not be able to find Chinò or Chinotto, so you may have to make do with the original splash of cola. I adore the standard recipe, and in fact tonight I’m planning on a round of teas using cola instead. But there is a world of difference in the flavor of Chinò versus cola, so if you can find a place to get Chinò or Chinotto, I highly recommend you try it out.
If you use refined sugar, I would knock it back to just 1 teaspoon, but 1 1/2 is probably good if the first result comes out tasting too sour or “dry.” (meaning you tasted the alcohols too much.)
When it comes to your liquors, I don’t think the kinds or brands matter so much because you’re mixing everything together and tossing lime juice and sugar over it. This means that you don’t taste the alcohols that much even if this is a STRONG drink. So say for instance that you have three of the liquors, but instead of gin, you’ve got triple sec. Go ahead and toss that in, and see what you think.
Treat your drink recipe just like you would a food recipe. The recipe given on the card is a nice place to start, but to really make the drink properly, it needs to satisfy you, the drink maker. So if you try my respie and you feel it’s missing something, go hog wild and experiment.
One final note: Experimentation requires multiple nights of mixing. You will not feel a tea drink while you’re chugging it, and you may think that it’s a foofy drink with no power. And then you stand up, and the drink hands you your ass on a platter. So play with this one, but be aware that you are playing with powerful spirits who can and will hurt you if you aren’t careful.
That’s it for the common sense advice. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to get drunk again.