Summer was designed to slow us down and to remind us to enjoy the hum of warm evenings with good friends, so you want to keep the prep to a minimum. Bourbon iced tea not only offers a twist to a summer favorite, but also provides opportunity for experimentation with minimal effort.

If you’re looking for a refreshing way to keep cool this 4th of July while staying loyal to the spirit of the holiday, try a new combination of some tried and true American summer classics.

One suggestion is a pitcher of LiberTea, a tasty combination of lemonade and iced tea that uses Wild Turkey Bourbon and American Honey–a honey liqueur from the makers of Wild Turkey–to add a sweet twist to an old standby. Perfect for a large gathering, it can be made in advance, allowing you to spend the rest of the afternoon tending to the grill, sitting back on the porch and enjoying the fireworks.

Don’t want to wait for Independence Day to enjoy a delicious bourbon tea? Celebrate national iced tea month in June with the Wild Turkey Mint Tea and Wild Turkey Sparkling Tea.

Jimmy Russell, master distiller for Wild Turkey Bourbon, believes that just because the Kentucky Derby is over doesn’t mean that the flavors of the Southern classic Julep are out for the rest of the season. Russell’s summer recipe, Wild Turkey Mint Tea, adds fresh lemon, lime, and sweetened

tea to the mint julep basic–mint and bourbon–to create an updated fresh take on the derby classic.

For another refreshing bourbon iced tea variation, the adults-only Wild Turkey Sparkling Tea is a great make-ahead option for BBQ’s, afternoon parties and outdoor gatherings.

The LiberTea
Ingredients (makes 1 large pitcher):
4 cups water
4 cups lemonade
4 black tea bags
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup Wild Turkey Bourbon
1 1/2 cups American Honey

Preparation:
In a large saucepan, boil 2 cups water. Remove from heat; add 4 teabags of black tea. Steep 8 minutes; discard teabags. Add 2 cups cold water and lemonade; transfer to pitcher and chill. Add fresh basil leaves. Using a wooden spoon, crush basil until fragrant. Stir in Wild Turkey Bourbon and

American Honey. Serve over ice.

Wild Turkey Mint Tea

Ingredients (makes 1 pitcher):
4 cups water
4 black tea bags
2 tbsp Sugar
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1 1/2 cups Wild Turkey Bourbon
Juice of half lemon
Juice of half lime

Preparation:
In a large saucepan, boil 2 cups water. Remove from heat; add 4 teabags of black tea. Steep 8 minutes; discard teabags. Add 2 cups cold water. Transfer to pitcher and chill. Add fresh mint leaves. Using a wooden spoon, crush mint until fragrant. Stir in Wild Turkey bourbon. Serve over ice.

Wild Turkey Sparkling Tea
Ingredients (makes 1 pitcher):
4 cups water
8 red herbal tea bags (such as lemon zinger or hibiscus)
2 cups Wild Turkey American Honey
Splash of club soda
Juice of one lemon
Cherries for garnish

Preparation:
In a large saucepan, boil 2 cups water. Remove from heat. Add tea bags. Steep 10 minutes; discard tea bags. Add 2 cups cold water to tea. Stir in Wild Turkey American Honey. Transfer to pitcher and chill. Just before serving, add lemon juice and a splash of club soda for a touch of refreshing fizz. Serve over ice.

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