Get your pinky fingers ready, cause Will and Kate are gettin’ hitched! Since the occasion probably won’t be a rowdy good time like most weddings are (they’ve even banned beer from the occasion), us here in the States must compensate by doing what we do best: turn a mildly festive occasion into a reason to gorge ourselves on fatty foods and booze. How, do you ask? By staying up tomorrow night to watch the first hours of the live wedding coverage, fueled entirely on scones and tea-infused alcoholic beverages. I’ll show you how.
While the English aren’t known for their delicious food, they do know how to serve a proper tea. The best part of high tea is the scones. Who doesn’t love a good scone? The problem is, here in the States, our scones are total rubbish. If you’re planning to eat a scone sold in a coffee shop, make sure to have a Nalgene full of water on hand to help you choke down the dry, hard chunks of overly sweet dough. Homemade scones are fresh, moist, and very simple to put together. With some basic baking ingredients and a half an hour, you can make your own supremely satisfying scones. Below is my tried-and-true recipe for scones, adapted from Alton Brown’s recipe:
- 2 cups flour, plus ¼ cup for rolling out dough
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 4 tablespoons COLD butter (temperature is critical here)
- 2 tablespoons shortening
- 3/4 cup cream
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla or almond extract
- Handful dried currants or dried cranberries
- Handful of toasted nuts or mini chocolate chips
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar and mix well with a wire whisk.
3. Cut in butter and shortening using a pastry cutter or a fork. The resulting mixture will be dry and crumbly. Don’t overmix at this point! Doing so will result in tough dough and a premature melting of the butter.
4. In a separate bowl, beat the egg. Add the cream and extract. Slowly add the egg mixture to the flour mixture until all of the ingredients create a single mass. If there are remaining dry ingredients in the bottom of the bowl that will not adhere to the mass, gently and scarcely push the dough into the remaining dry mixture until it combines. Quickly and gently massage in the dried fruit, nuts, and/or chocolate chips. Push dough into the shape of a square on a floured surface.
5. Cut the dough into rounds using the rim of a water glass, or cut the dough into triangles. On a cookie sheet, bake for 15 minutes, or until tops are light golden brown.
6. Pat your scones with a little more butter, and slather with your favorite jam. Try to be nice and share with others.
Now, on to the tea-infused alcoholic beverages. There are two ways to achieve this part of your royal wedding experience, One avenue to tea cocktails is to purchase tea-infused or tea-flavored liquor. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure, now would be a great time to try the new trend of sweet tea-flavored vodkas and whiskeys. You can find them at any liquor store (or if you no longer live in a prohibition state such as Washington, a grocery store). Go ahead and mix your flavored tea with brewed iced teas or lemonade. Or, if you’re feeling sassy, pour it on the rocks.
A second avenue to tea cocktails is to mix your non-flavored alcohols with brewed tea. You’ll have to be a little bit better at mixing drinks for this technique and have a fair amount of tea on hand, but then again, you won’t have to make a trip to the store to buy a flavored tea. Here are some simple tea cocktail ideas to get your creative juices flowing. After a few drinks, I’m sure you’ll think of more fantastic concoctions with which to salute the Queen.
Now that you have your food and drink in order, call your family and friends to come over to join your royal wedding viewing party. As long as your tea choice is caffeinated, you shouldn’t have any problem keeping the party going through the rambling processions and asinine commentary. If things get dull, consider checking out some royal wedding drinking games to raise your spirits (no pun intended).
I hope I’ve given you some ideas on how to make this royal wedding memorable (or hazy, depending on how much you like the tea cocktails). If things get too out of hand, at least you’ll have a proper breakfast of tea and scones ready to go to take the edge of that morning-after headache. Cheers!