On hot summer days, ice-cold flavored iced teas can be a refreshing treat. Go beyond traditional teas and create cool summer drinks by infusing them with fruit and herbs. Here are our top tips for making iced tea and three iced tea recipes featuring summer’s freshest fruit and herbs.
Tips for making iced tea
Choose the tea
If you are flavoring your tea with fruit or herbs, use a simple green or black tea as a base. Herbal teas are also good choices, just be sure to pair similar flavors. For example, keep citrus flavors with citrus teas and berry flavors with berry teas. The many varieties and flavors of teas available today give you a near endless array of iced tea options.
Just about any fruit can be added to iced tea. Pineapple, lemon, peach, raspberry, mango and other fruit will give the usual iced teas a fresh summery flavor. To create those fruity flavors, just add a few teaspoons of fruit juice or fruit syrup to the finished iced tea.
Herbs such as mint, rosemary, sage, tarragon and basil can also make for very refreshing drinks. To create herb flavors, simply boil the herb with water and sugar until a syrup is made. Strain the mixture and stir it into the iced tea. Experiment with flavors by combining a few together like basil and lemon or raspberry and mint.
Brew the best tea
When making iced tea, use a family-sized or large container. Boil the water in a tea kettle or pot. When the water boils, pour it over the teabags in the container. For each quart of water, five to six teabags should do the trick. Tie the bags together so they are easy to remove later on. Let the tea steep for about one hour or longer depending on how strong you like your tea. You can even do it overnight if desired. You can also make sun tea by putting water and tea in the sun and let it steep for hours.
Sweeten to taste
If you are adding a fruit syrup, fruit juice or herb syrup made with sugar, taste your tea before stirring in additional sugar. If you do need to add extra sweetness, be sure to stir it in completely so it dissolves.
Chill your tea
Before chilling the tea in the refrigerator, add about 2 cups of cold water (per quart of hot water) then chill it in the refrigerator. Add ice when you serve the tea.
Add a pretty garnish
Give your iced tea a garnish that reflects its flavor. Fresh raspberries brighten up raspberry tea, a fresh mint leaf or two is a pretty addition to mint tea, a wedge of fresh peach is perfect for peach tea. If serving iced tea for a crowd, an appropriate garnish can let people know what type of tea is available.