It’s summertime and nothing says summer better than some tasty iced tea. A tall glass of ice-cold tea has to be one of the most inviting beverages known to man. Let me share with you three of my favorite “specialty” teas that will not only refresh you, but give you fresh alternatives when you host one of many summer cookouts.
Hawaiian Plantation Iced Tea
I came across this tea at a wedding shower my girlfriend forced me to attend. I drink and serve this several times a year. You will need:
1 quart of barely boiling water,
4 orange pekoe tea bags,
1 quart of ice-cold water,
16 ounces of grapefruit juice,
1/2 cup of simple syrup (an optional sweetener), and
1 fresh pineapple cut into spears.
Bring your water to a slight boil and pour into a pitcher. Add your tea bags and steep for 3 to 5 minutes. You can add additional bags for a stronger flavor, but don’t steep longer or you risk the tea becoming bitter. Remove the tea bags and add the cold water. Stir in the grapefruit juice and syrup if you choose to use it, then chill for about 1 1/2 hours. Serve over ice and garnish with the pineapple spears.
Want a zingy party punch with a southern twist? Give this tea punch a try. You’re going to need:
1 cup of brewed tea concentrate (I use my coffee brewer to make this.),
1 cup of sugar,
4 cups of orange juice,
4 cups of grapefruit juice,
4 cups of prepared lemonade (not concentrate),
2 liters of chilled ginger ale.
In a pitcher dissolve the sugar into the hot tea brew, then stir in the orange and grapefruit juices and lemonade. Chill for four hours. To serve pour the tea/juice mixture into a punch bowl or glass urn and add the chilled ginger ale. You can add sliced oranges or lemons to garnish.
Next to sweet tea, there is nothing more southern than some delicious peach tea. This is the simplest recipe. You’re going to need:
4 family-sized tea bags,
4 cups of water,
1 cup of peach nectar, and
2 fresh peaches.
While the tea is brewing, peel, pit, and slice the peaches and using one cup of water, blend them into a smooth slush. When the tea is finished stir into a pitcher the tea, the peach nectar, and the peach slurry. Mix thoroughly and fill the pitcher with cold water. Serve over ice and garnish with orange slices or twists of apple peels.
There are many variations you can create from these basic recipes; use your imagination. No matter which tea you make, it will be guaranteed to bring cool refreshment to any party or even dinner.