Flavored Iced Tea Recipes
By Catalogs Editorial Staff
Contributed by Info Guru Lindsay Shugerman
“Baby, it’s HOT outside” Okay, I know the real lyrics say it’s cold outside, but have you looked at the thermometer lately? All those triple digits can only mean one thing. It’s the middle of summer, and prime time for something cold to drink.
In my family, that means iced tea…and lots of it. Plain old iced tea is delicious, but sometimes I want something different. So I started collecting flavored iced tea recipes to add variety to my glass. Here are my favorites, just in time to help you stay cool this summer.
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10. Lavender mint
My brother made this mixture a couple of summer’s ago, and it quickly became one of my favorites. And it’s an incredibly simple recipe. For a pitcher of tea (I use an ice tea machine), combine 1 cup of fresh mint, lightly crushed and 3 tablespoons of fresh lavender flowers. If you like a sweet tea, add two tablespoons of honey to the brew basket. Garnish with fresh mint and serve in tall frosty glasses.
9. Earl Grey
Sometimes the best iced tea recipes are the least complicated. A good Earl Grey makes a delicious iced tea. Make sure the tea you select is rich in bergemont oil. Many commercial Earl Grey tea bags have little of none, so they make a tasteless iced drink. Opt for a loose tea for the very best taste.
8. Orange spice
Citrus and summer go together, so is it any wonder that an orange infused iced tea would be a delicious choice? You can buy some wonderful orange spice tea blends, but I like to add a little extra kick to my iced version by floating thinly sliced fresh oranges in the pitcher, and putting a wedge on each glass. For a little extra spice, toss a cinnamon stick and a couple of cloves in the brew basket of your iced tea maker.
7. Creamy chai
With its spicy, smooth taste, chai tea is a perfect choice for chasing winter chills, but did you know that it makes a delicious iced tea, too? I use the recipe from Whole Foods, and it’s delicious! Use can use less sugar if you prefer a less sweet, more traditional chai. Either way, it’s way less expensive that buying one at a drive through…and you don’t have to go out on a hot summer day to get it!
6. Green ginger
This is one of the most refreshing, cleansing teas I know of. It’s a two step process, but very worth it. You start by making a simple ginger syrup. In a sauce pan, combine 1/2 cup sugar, two about 1/2 inch cubes of peeled fresh ginger and a cup of water. Stir well, and bring it to a boil. Stir until all sugar is disolved, then reduce heat and simmer for about 30 seconds, stirring the whole time. Remove it from the heat, and allow to cool. Now, brew your favorite green tea (from bags or loose…skip the powder mixes!). While the tea is still warm (or hot) add about a tablespoon for each glass. Stir well, then pour over ice.
5. Green mint
While we’re on the topic of green tea, here’s another popular green iced tea choice. But it’s nothing new. People in North Africa have been combining fresh mint and green tea for generations. They know that the blend is cooling and refreshing in the hot desert climate.
It’s super easy to make, too. Simply combine your favorite green tea with slightly crushed fresh mint leaves, and brew. Generally, two or three leaves are enough for one glass of tea, but you can adjust it to your taste. Serve it as is, over ice, or offer sugar at the table. For a special touch, garnish each glass with a sugared mint leaf. So pretty!
4. Mango rooibos
If you haven’t tried roobibos tea, summer is a great time to start. The bright red color and rich flavor of this African tea pair wonderfully with all kinds of fruits. For winter, I prefer a pumpkin rooibos. But when summer comes, it’s mango all the way. Food.com has a very simple recipe for this one…some tea, some mango juice and you’re almost there.
3. Lemonade iced tea
Depending on what part of the country you’re in, this might be called an Arnold Palmer. Or a Half and Half. Or a Lemon Tea. But the ingredients are the same across the board. One half freshly brewed iced tea (usually black tea, but you can use an herbal, too) and one half lemonade. Add ice and sip. Ahhhhh!
2. Southern sweet tea
In the deep South, sweet tea is more than just a drink. It’s a symbol of a way of life. Think time spent sitting on a broad front porch sipping an iced cold glass. Or lunchtime in a diner with a tall, sweet glass of tea close at hand. But even if your veranda is more of a fire escape or you’re chilling in front of the TV, a good sweet tea recipe is a must. A word of warning to all you northerners: if it has corn syrup, artificial sweeteners or anything except good old white cane sugar in it, it doesn’t count. Just sayin…
1. Hibiscus punch tea
When the heat is really on, a chilled glass of hibiscus tea is my number one choice. I love the fruity taste on a hot day. And I love the fact that it’s caffeine free, too. That makes it a good cooler for kids and adults. You can make it from scratch, but who has that kind of energy in the summertime? I just brew up some hibiscus tea from bags or a good loose blend, then add a splash of cherry juice or strawberry juice and top it off with some seltzer. No fuss, and always delicious.
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Forget sugary sodas or overpriced coffee drinks this summer. Who needs any of that when all these refreshing iced tea recipes are as close as your kitchen.
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