Last week, we participated in an incredible charity event hosted by our non-profit partner, Common Threads. Common Threads is a non-profit organization that educates children on the importance of healthy eating through after-school cooking and nutrition programs. We’re all about encouraging everyone to Live Loose and be the best version of themselves they can be, so we love their mission and it was an honor to be a part of Common Threads’s Sixth Annual Cook-off fundraiser. It was an incredible experience, and we met tons of amazing chefs and mixologists right in our backyard!
As it was a cook-off event, each restaurant or company that participated submitted a dish or drink to be judged by attendees of the event. There were five categories that each food item fit into: Barrel, Barn, Garden, Pasture and Seed. As a participant in the event, we were part of the “Barrel” category. Aka, we got to create a unique cocktail creation featuring our tea! Our cocktail featured none other than the that helped start it all at Tiesta – Fireberry!
With the leaves turning and the air getting crisper in Chicago, we decided to hold onto summer for one more night and bring a little tropical fun into our city. Our cocktail was crafted by our very own Operations Manager, Rich Tannous, and was his take on a Mai Tai. The name? Mai Tea Mai Tai. Basically, we substituted traditional cranberry juice found in a Mai Tai with our cranberry hibiscus tea, Fireberry. It was a refreshingly sweet citrus cocktail and was a huge hit!
We were also given time before and after the event to meet all the other talented chefs and mixologists competing in the cook-off. It was so fantastic learning everyone’s stories and trying all of the dishes! Everything was so mouth-watering good!
SO HOW DO YOU MAKE A MAI TEA MAI TAI?
To make this tropical beverage, we created a Fireberry syrup by using Fireberry brewed extra strong (think double the tea leaves and double the steep time). To create this syrup reduce brewed Fireberry on a boil for about 15 minutes with 2 cups of sugar added for every 2 cups of tea.
After making the Fireberry syrup, set it aside; it will be used as one of the last additions to the mixture to give the drink its signature color. Combine the orange curaçao, dark rum, orange juice and pineapple juice into to a shaker with a little bit of ice and shake well. Pour the mixture into your preferred glass and then add the Fireberry syrup in! The Fireberry will sink to the bottom of the drink and give it a layered look. Top with a pineapple and cherry and there you go! A tropical drink that will send your taste buds soaring and will have you dreaming of your next adventure!