Sweet ice tea is the quintessential summer beverage in many places, and this drink is fun to make because you can get creative with the ingredients, choosing your favorite kind of loose tea or teabags to make it, adding your favorite kind of sweetener, choosing which fruit to add to the mixture, and even selecting some fresh herbs or even edible flowers to decorate your homemade ice tea. Served in large pitchers, ice tea is sure to be a hit with everybody because it is refreshing and really tasty as well. Making sweet ice tea is really easy to make and you can prepare it in just a few minutes.
What Kind of Tea to Use
The following recipe combines black tea with fruit herbal tea and berry-hibiscus tea bags. These are all suggestions and if you prefer to use white or green tea instead of black tea, that is fine. You can also take your pick from any fruit herbal tea bags, perhaps considering apple and cinnamon or an orange and lemon flavor. As for the berry-hibiscus teabags, anything red in color will work, since that will add the lovely reddish hue to your finished ice tea. Have a look in the cupboard and see what teabags you have available, then consider how the flavors would be when combined, and you will be able to choose a nice combination. If you have loose tea, you can use this instead of the teabags.
Adding the Fruit to the Mixture
The first thing to do is steep the tea, and you should give it 10 minutes because of the quantities of teabags and water you are using to make the iced tea. Next, let it cool and then chill it for an hour to ensure it chills fully. Then it is time to add your fruits. Again, you have the option to change what you use, depending what you have available. Peach, raspberries and apple would be good, or you could consider blueberries, plum, pear, or pineapple. Avoid banana pieces because it will turn the tea murky.
Sugar adds the sweetness to the tea while lemon juice adds a nice zing and balances out that sweet taste. If you are using any naturally sweet tea, such as some of the licorice kinds which taste sweet even if you do not add any kind of sweetener, then adjust the amount of sugar used. By tweaking the ingredients used, you can get the perfect flavor, or even make 2 different pitchers and add different flavor teabags and fruit to each one, so people can try both and see which they prefer.
If you are using some kind of spicy teabag, perhaps something like chai which can be fiery or apple-cinnamon, they consider swapping the lemon juice for lime juice because that would be nice with it. This drink will appeal to the younger members of the family as well as the older ones, because what is not to love about this sweet, fruity mixture? When it is time to serve the iced tea, consider garnishing it with fresh herbs and perhaps edible flowers to make it look truly beautiful and give it a homemade, charming look.
- 4 pints cold water
- 2 black teabags
- 2 fruit herbal teabags (lemon or orange maybe)
- 4 berry-hibiscus teabags
- ½ chopped peach
- ½ cup raspberries
- ½ chopped apple
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Ice cubes, as needed
- Fresh herbs, for garnish
- Put the teabags in a heatproof pitcher.
- Bring the water to a boil and pour it over the teabags.
- Steep them for 10 minutes, then remove and discard the teabags.
- Let the tea cool and then refrigerate it for an hour.
- Stir in the lemon juice and sugar.
- Add ice and fruit chunks, then serve.
This iced tea deserves a second glance and then you might want to immediately look through your kitchen cupboards to see what teabags you have which could be used to make this wonderfully refreshing beverage. Chop some fresh fruit to add to the tea and consider adding a vibrant green herb garnish for that charming homemade look. Iced tea is really simple to make and you can make it in minutes. Just ensure it has time to chill in the refrigerator before serving, because this drink is better served ice cold.
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