Sorry, southern hemisphere. For those of us in the north, it's the first day of spring and we're pretty happy about it. I've always gotten a little psychological jolt from the vernal equinox, knowing that sunshine and warm breezes are just around the bend. It's reason enough to raise a glass to the season of hope and promise, and today that glass ought to be filled with a refreshing, spring-like spirit I sampled recently called Belvedere Lemon Tea Vodka.
Here are a couple things you should know about Belvedere Lemon Tea. Most important: it tastes great. Yes, you've had vodka and you've had lemon tea, but Belvedere Lemon Tea is more than that. For starters, it's not just vodka and lemon tea, it's really good vodka and really good lemon tea. Sip a chilled shot and you can taste the quality - the crispness and smoothness of the Belvedere vodka (I've always been a fan) and a delightful mix of fresh black and green teas. Sure, you could mix those things together in your kitchen or home bar if you like, but do you have easy access to lemongrass, chamomile, ginger, and honey? Because it has all-natural versions of those ingredients as well, in perfectly balanced proportions. The professional tasters among us may be able to identify the individual flavors in every sip, while the rest will just say yum.
Next, it might send you to the dictionary, because Belvedere Lemon Tea is not a blend, mix, mash-up, or infusion, it is a "maceration." At first I thought that meant a team of people were chewing on all the ingredients and spitting them into big vats, but that would make it a "mastication." Maceration, meanwhile, refers to something that has "become soft or separated into constituent elements by or as if by steeping in fluid." So that's a bit of a relief. (Thanks, Merriam Webster
Also, it's Belvedere's second vodka "made to a drink." The first one was Belvedere Bloody Mary, and I'm sure it's fantastic, but I just don't do bloodies. Not my thing. The Belvedere Lemon Tea is made to mix with - get this - tea! But again, let's not be snide, because you don't just get the vodka and tea, you get those other groovy botanicals mentioned above that I all but guarantee you don't have around the house unless you're some kind of gourmet chef or herb collector or medieval alchemist.
And it's versatile. Yes, you could add it to tea, but you can also add it to lemonade, or lemonade and tea (that would be an Arnold Palmer), or limeade, or Perrier, or your favorite fruit juice, or even a smoothie or an Italian ice. Wouldn't that be nice?
So mix yourself a cocktail (or just pour it over ice), and go sit in the sunshine and watch the fluffy clouds float across the sky and think about how great it is to be alive in the northern hemisphere on a gorgeous spring day. It's a beautiful world out there and you're sipping a drink that represents the culmination of 5,000 years of drink-making knowledge. Relax already. You're doing just fine.
Belvedere Lemon Tea Vodka costs $30 for a 750 ml bottle and is available in better liquor stores nationwide.