After months of chilly and snowy weather, summer has finally come to chase the final dredges of winter chill away. Summer promises the joy of picnics, pool parties, and backyard bbq’s with the family. With summer fun also comes summer heat. Nothing cools you off in the summer like a nice tall glass of Iced Tea. Gathered below are some of my favorite tea recipes that my family and I both love.
Iced Lavender Green Tea
I am a huge fan of green tea. It’s my morning go to instead of coffee. So I was shocked when I discovered that not a lot of people feel the same way. This recipe is great for green tea lovers as well as non green tea lovers. It’s light, refreshing, and the lavender gives that sweet floral scent and taste. This recipe yields about 4 cups.
Here’s what you need:
- 5 Green Tea Bags
- 1 quart of water (32 ounces)
- 1 teaspoons of dried lavender blossoms (1 ½-2 teaspoons of fresh lavender blossoms, if possible)
- Fresh lavender sprigs for garnish (optional)
Boil the quart of water until it’s just barely simmering. Don’t let it get to a roiling boil. That’s the easiest way to burn tea which causes it to be bitter. Remove the water from the heat and stew the green tea and lavender for about 5 minutes. I use 6 tea bags because I like a stronger green tea taste. If you would like it to be lighter, use 4 bags. Strain liquid into a pitcher and let it cool for a few hours. For a classic country look, fill mason jars with ice cubes and pour your tea. Finish it with sprigs of fresh lavender.
Arnold Palmer with a Twist
One of my favorite mixed iced tea drinks is the Arnold Palmer. There’s nothing quite as refreshing as both iced tea and lemonade on a hot summer day. Normally, Arnold Palmers are made with half iced tea and half lemonade served over ice. I make mine a little different.
Since we have a lemon tree, I use our fresh lemons to make lemonade and then I freeze it into ice cubes using an ice cube tray. I then fill my glass with lemonade cubes and pour in my cooled tea. I get an instant Arnold Palmer that stays cool and doesn’t get watered down.
Here’s how to make it:
- 3 ½ tablespoons of Truvia Natural Sweetner (you can use a cup of white sugar instead. I use Truvia to keep the calories and sugar numbers down)
- ½ cup of hot water (1 cup of water if you’re using normal sugar)
- 1 cup of lemon juice
- 3 to 4 cups of cold water (Use more if you want a diluted taste.)
I use simple syrup in my lemonade because it makes it easier to dissolve the sugar when adding it to the lemon juice and water. To make the simple syrup, take the 3 ½ tbsp of Truvia and add it to the hot water. Stir or shake until fully dissolved. Add the lemon juice and the simple syrup to the pitcher of cold water. Stir until fully mixed. Pour lemonade mixture into ice cube tray. Place in freezer until frozen solid.
For the Arnold Palmer, brew any kind of tea the same way as mentioned in the first recipe. Let the mixture cool a bit before adding it to the lemonade cubes. Garnish with a lemon wedge. For an added twist to this recipe, try it with mint tea or add in crushed mint leaves to add in a fresh flavor.
Hawaiian Plantation Iced Tea
I first tried this when my mom and I went to Hawaii to visit family. I completely fell in love with it. It’s so refreshing and delicious. The combination of both the black tea and pineapple makes it perfect. Try this recipe and add a little bit of the Hawaiian spirit to your summer.
Here’s how to make it:
- 4-6 bags of orange pekoe tea (you can also use plain black tea)
- 1 quart of ice water
- 16 ounces of pineapple juice
- ½ cup of simple syrup (see Arnold Palmer recipe on how to make this)
- Fresh pineapple that has been peeled, cored, and cut into spears
Brew the tea as detailed in the first recipe. After the tea bags have been removed, pour in the ice water. Add the pineapple juice and simple syrup if you prefer to have a sweeter tea. Refrigerate until cool. After it’s cooled, pour the tea over ice and garnish with pineapple. For a minty twist, add in fresh mint while the tea is cooling down in the refrigerator. The mint gives the tea a nice fresh touch. Mint and citrus work so well together in tea!