The weather is starting to heat up as we rapidly approach summer, and for many people, summer simply isn’t complete without a nice tall, cold glass of iced tea. Some prefer it sweet (think southern style ice tea) while some prefer it straight. Luckily, it is extremely easy to make it either way. Ease of use isn’t the only advantage of tea, however; it is also extremely versatile with its many different varieties (green, black, oolong, etc.). There are also health benefits to drinking tea as many varieties contain antioxidants. Below are three variations of summer’s favorite beverage.
Cold Brewed Ice Tea
Possibly the easiest way to make iced tea if you aren’t pressed for time. Also, since there is no boiling involved, the tea produced is often extremely smooth as it lacks the bitterness caused by a hot brew.
What you’ll need: Water, tea leaves (either loose leaf or bags,) & a pitcher
Simply measure 2 tablespoons of loose leaves per quart of water (or 3-5 bags, depending on strength desired) and let steep in the fridge overnight. This method can be used with just about every type of tea out there, so experimentation is easy and refreshing!
This is the trademark of the south: sweet tea. Exceptionally refreshing with a smooth, sweet taste that’s sure to relax you during a hot summer day.
What you’ll need: A pinch of baking soda, 5-7 tea bags, 2 cups boiling water, 6 cups cold water, 1 1/2 – 3 cups sugar, & a heat-resistant glass pitcher.
Place your tea bags into the glass pitcher, preferably made of pyrex or other heat-resistant material. Pour boiling water over tea bags, cover, and let steep for 15 minutes. Now, transfer to hot tea to a larger pitcher. Add the sugar, stirring well. It’s important to add the sugar while the tea is still warm. This will ensure the sugar melts and dissolves fully. Next, add the remaining 6 cups of cold water. Let the tea cool at room temperature. Do not place it directly into the refrigerator as it will turn cloudy. Once tea has cooled, pour over ice. Garnish with some lemon or mint.
Boston Iced Tea
Want to change things up a little bit? Try this little known spin on iced tea. The tartness of the cranberry juice is wonderfully balanced by the sweetness of the sugar. Sure to be a winner at your next outdoor get-together!
What you’ll need: 8 cups boiling water, 1/2 cup sugar, 6-8 tea bags, 1 can (12 fluid ounces) cranberry juice concentrate.
Place water in a pot and bring to a boil. Add sugar and stir until fully dissolved. Remove from heat. Place teabags into hot water and let steep for 15 minutes (or until desired strength is reached.) Just like the sweet tea, let this tea cool at room temperature to avoid cloudiness. Serve over ice with a slice of citrus (lemon or orange) as garnish.
I hope you enjoy these easy to make, refreshing recipes. Stay cool out there!