I’m looking at a box of ‘teabags’and bottle of tonic water, ready to make a fancy drink for a Saturday night. No, I’ve not gone crazy (well, not much!). The teabags in question are in fact DJ’s Cold Infusion pockets– created to infuse spirits such as gin and vodka, and I’m hoping they will jazz up my non alcoholic tipples.
There are six flavours of these cold infusion pockets in the range, and DJ’s kindly send me the lot to try*:
- Stirring botanicals
- Rooibos spice
- Blooming blossoms
- Summer equinox
- Passion star
- Orange osmosis
These bags are filled with natural botanicals, each blend being completely different. They also have a stirring spoon which helps you to keep mix it and fish the bag out easily. All part of the ritual that makes a reluctant non-drinker like me think she is making something more classy than a glass of ‘pop’.
I guess that some are better for jazzing-up a cheap gin, while others will add va-va-voom to vodka. But I want to add a bit of extra interest to my non-alcoholic tipples, because I love tonic but sometimes a girl needs options!
Here are some serving suggestions which I’ve enjoyed…
Chai spice tonic
- Drink: pink peppercorn tonic
- Cold infusion: rooibos spice
- Ingredients: rooibos, ginger, cardamom, peppercorns, cloves, natural flavouring
I started with Merchant’s Heart pink peppercorn tonic – a slightly spiced base. Serve with a wedge of orange and this becomes one for spice fans. It is basically a chai spice teabag, but it works. It would go fantastically with a chilli or curry instead of a beer. And this tonic has a beguiling sherbet flavour to it, which sits surprisingly well with the spices.
Ginger and orange
- Drink: ginger beer
- Cold infusion: Orange osmosis
- Ingredients: orange peel, apple pieces, rosehip, hibiscus, lime peel, lime leaves, safflower, natural flavouring
Normally I love a strong, spicy ginger beer. But use a more subtle one here – like Belvoir or Fever Tree. A good long infuse, give it five minutes, and your ginger beer will have a definite citrus tang. It also gives it a pinkish tint which is cute.
Refresh a crowd
- Drink: water (soda water if you are fancy, tap water if not. Tonic would work too of course)
- Cold infusion: stirring botanicals or summer equinox
- Ingredients, stirring botanicals: elderberries, burdock root, juniper berries, liquorice root, coriander seeds, dandelion leaves, honeybush, elderflower, allspice berry, cardamom, hibiscus, apple pieces, fermented lemon peel, rosehip, orange peel, natural flavouring
- Ingredients, summer equinox: hibiscus, apple pieces, rosehip, lemon verbena, freeze-dried raspberry (5%), freeze-dried strawberry (4%), natural flavouring
Fill a jug with water, ice and fruit slices and let a couple of these cold infusion bags do their work. It’s good to put on the table to share, or store in the fridge to dip into through the day. The Stirring botanicals are traditional gin botanicals, so serve with lemon or lime slices. The summer bags are great with whatever frozen fruit you have stashed away – it was lovely with frozen watermelon.
There are quite a few cold infusion bags on the market now – mainly in the tea market. But I like that these are blended with alcohol in mind, so the mix is more complex than others I have seen.
With Christmas part season kicking in, these are great for non-drinkers, designated drivers and those who want more than a sweet coke or lemonade. Thanks DJ’s – I love them!