As much as anyone from the South claims sweet tea as part of their identity, Nashvillians will tell you fruit tea is a part of theirs. While recipes differ slightly from one place to the next, local connoisseurs are quick to point out to visitors that despite its name, the cold drink is not an herbal tea infused with fruit, but rather a fruit juice based tea drink.
It’s difficult to identify fruit tea’s origin and how it became such a regional phenomenon, but some point to Miss Daisy’s Tearoom. Opened in Franklin around four decades ago, Miss Daisy’s recipe seems to be the one that many claim perfected the concoction. Today, flavorsome glasses of fruit tea can be found at spots all across town, from Calypso Café, to Bread & Company, to Cheekwood’s Pineapple Room.
While fruit tea is a common quencher in our summer heat, we thought Nashville needed a spiked version of this drink. So we turned to our friend Jon Yeager, author of the cocktail blog POURTASTE, to help us out with a recipe.
The Viceroyalty Cobbler:
2 oz pisco (Peruvian grape brandy)
2 oz white tea syrup (if possible use loose lavender white tea from Teavana)
1/2 of 1 peach, muddled
Top with champagne
Build the cocktail in a glass. Remove the pit of a ripe peach and cut into quarters. Muddle 2 quarters with 2 oz of tea syrup. Pour in 2 oz of pisco, fill glass with ice, give a quick stir then top off with champagne.
To make white tea syrup:
Add 2 oz of loose white tea to 8 oz water and 2 oz sugar in a small sauce pan. Simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes. Strain liquid, discard loose leaf tea. Let cool.
Built like a traditional “cobbler” (a base spirit, sweetening agent and fresh muddled fruit) this cocktail is seasonally appropriate with peaches coming into their full late summer ripeness. The floral notes in the tea selection compliment the grape based brandy, crispness of the champagne along with the peaches. Though many fruit teas are pre-made, this is a simple way to infuse the fresh peach flavor into an already interesting tea, giving this cocktail a lot of depth and dimension.