Lemon Tea is the latest vodka flavor from Belvedere, joining Black Raspberry, Bloody Mary, Citrus, Orange, Pink Grapefruit, and IX (a blend of nine botanicals).
A vodka flavor is not the same as “flavored vodka.” Vodka can be flavored with an extract, natural or artificial; or it can be infused or macerated (a longer process) with the actual botanicals (fruits, herbs, spices, etc.). Belvedere takes the long route and macerates for the finest natural flavor.
Meant to pair with iced tea and lemonade, Belvedere Lemon Tea vodka is a complex layering of black tea, green tea, chamomile, lemongrass, honey, ginger and lemon.
Unless you’re a supertaster, though, you won’t find all of that when you take a sip. Although the ingredients combine to provide the overall sensory experience, you’re more likely to find the nose and palate to be bright and citrussy, recalling lemon peel and perhaps a hint of orange (there’s no orange in the blend, but common chemical components evoke other aromas and flavors).
We enjoy more flavor-forward expressions, and found the Lemon Tea flavors to be light on the palate.
While we enjoyed the lemon peel aroma and taste while drinking shots, in a mixed drink—1.5 ounces in 6 ounces of tea or lemonade—the flavor contribution was not much different than we’d get with regular citrus vodka. (Although the citrus flavors do add a bit of pizzazz, if you’re not ready to buy a new bottle of vodka, you can also add plain vodka to iced tea or lemonade.)
The company says that Belvedere Lemon Tea vodka “is designed for afternoon enjoyment, whether you’re poolside, having a BBQ or enjoying a day at the beach.” (Nota bene: Many beaches in the U.S. prohibit the possession or consumption of alcohol.)
We like Belvedere Lemon Tea vodka for Mother’s Day gifting to moms who enjoy a spiked tea or lemonade. Two recipes—a cocktail and a punch—follow.
RECIPES WITH BELVEDERE LEMON VODKA
BELVEDERE PEACH TEA
For one drink:
1. Build drink over cubed ice. Stir.
2. Garnish with a lemon wedge and sprig of mint and serve.
BELVEDERE SHANDY PUNCH
The Shandy is a popular summer drink, also known as an Arnold Palmer and a Half and Half. Here’s why, and the easy recipe to make a single drink rather than a punch bowl.
1. Add all ingredients to a large pitcher or a punch bowl and stir.
2. Chill overnight if possible. To serve, add a block of ice (or ice cubes, if a pitcher). Serve immediately.
Belvedere, a luxury brand of Polish vodka produced and distributed by LVMH, is named after Belweder, the Polish presidential palace in Warsaw. That’s the building illustrated on the vodka bottle (photo above).
Belvedere is a combination of the Italian words bello and vedere, meaning “beautiful” and “to see.” In architecture, a belvedere is a building, or an architectural feature of a building, designed and situated to look out upon a pleasing scene.
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