Meet the Makers: Owl’s Brew Cocktail Mixes (with Recipes!)

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Meet the Makers: Owl's Brew Cocktail Mixes (with Recipes!)

Summer time is cocktail time! For light, refreshing sipping, work a surprising new ingredient into your repertoire: tea. Our Owl’s Brew cocktail mixes are made by steeping top-quality tea with fresh fruits, herbs and other ingredients to create a concentrate that’s ready to mix with just about any spirit, wine or beer in your home bar. We talked to creators Maria Littlefield and Jennie Ripps for more inspiration on using the mixes at home — find their tips and recipes below!

 

What is your background, and how did you get into the food business?  

Our background is marketing, but we shared a common love for tea. In 2011, we launched Brew Lab Tea, a tea company that specialized in custom blending for restaurants. However — we both like the occasional cocktail! When we launched Brew Lab Tea, we also started entertaining at home with tea cocktails. We were soon being asked to create specialty cocktails for events ranging from movie premieres to charity events. Recognizing how versatile and delicious tea could be as a mixer was an important moment for us.

 

Tell us the story behind Owl’s Brew. What was the inspiration?

We were inspired by the at-home mixologist and entertainer. We’re living in an amazing time for cocktail bars and lounges, but there are still very limited mixer products that offer complex, light, fresh and delicious flavor profiles. Often, someone wishing to mix up cocktails at home is left choosing between a “boring” option like soda water or cranberry juice, or a complicated recipe that calls for tonics, bitters or syrups. Owl’s Brew is the perfect DIY solution, and has an easy pour, “2 Parts Brew to 1 Part Booze,” or equal parts when mixing with beer or wine.

 

Meet the Makers: Owl's Brew Cocktail Mixes (with Recipes!)How are Owl’s Brew products made?  

Owl’s Brew is a tea “crafted for cocktails.” It is fresh-brewed in micro-batches and meant to be paired with a wide range of spirits (and beer and wine!) for cocktails with a fresh, light flavor profile. Fresh-brewing our tea was very important to us, and because of this Owl’s Brew is rich in natural antioxidants. We’re often asked how Owl’s Brew is different than an iced tea — the answer is that each blend is crafted to pair with spirits, and that we brew to a concentrate so that Owl’s Brew can be shaken up, or poured over ice.

 

Tell us about the different products you carry. What’s unique about them?    

Owl’s Brew is the first ever tea mixer, which is exciting! Both of the blends that Williams-Sonoma is carrying are extremely versatile — The Classic, an English Breakfast with lemon and lime, is terrific with gin, but also mixes well with wheat beer for a unique spin on a shandy; Pink & Black, a darjeeling tea with hibiscus and strawberry is delicious with bourbon, but you can also “cheat your way” to a sangria by mixing it with white wine or a rose.

 

What’s your favorite one and why?   

That’s tough :)  But right now, we love Pink & Black, because of how well it pairs with bourbon.

 

What are some of your favorite ways to use the teas? Favorite pairings — spirits, mixers, etc.?   

Owl’s Brew is super versatile, which was important to us when crafting the tea base. Jennie’s favorite combination right now is Gin with The Classic — if you add soda water (or tonic) and garnish with lemon and mint, you have a delicious, light summer sipper. Maria’s really excited about beer cocktails and loves Pink & Black with a pilsner-style beer.

 

Are there any other creative uses you’ve found (beyond cocktails)?   

Owl’s Brew is great for mocktails! You can mix it with soda water and garnish with berries for a light, fresh faux cocktail. Also — some of our more ambitious chef friends have infused it into scones, used it as an ingredient in glazed salmon, and most recently we tasted a fantastic “ The Classic” panna cotta — yum!

 

What’s your favorite way to enjoy your tea cocktails?    

With friends!

 

If you weren’t making Owl’s Brew, what would you be doing?   

It would be hard to stay away from the beverage industry….tea soda?

 

Owl's Vodka

Owl’s Vodka

 

2 parts The Classic cocktail mix

1 part vodka

 

Shake ingredients and pour over ice in a highball glass. Garnish: fresh lemon.

 

Margari-tea

Margari-tea

 

2 parts The Classic cocktail mix

1 part tequila

3-4 fresh jalapeno slices

 

Rim a margarita glass with salt. Muddle The Classic and tequila with fresh jalapeno slices. Strain out jalapeno seeds. Shake and pour into glass. Garnish: fresh lime or, for an extra hot kick, cayenne pepper.

 

Bramble Brew

Bramble Brew

 

2 parts Pink & Black Cocktail Mix

1 part tequila

Fresh raspberries and strawberries

 

Muddle ingredients. Shake and pour over ice. Garnish: fresh mint.

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