Every day should be Iced Tea Day!
It’s a shame that iced teas do not get the recognition they deserve. Cold, tasty and hitting all the right taste buds, you cannot go wrong with a glass or a pitcher (you do you man) of iced tea! June is the month that celebrates Iced Tea Day, so here are some teetotaler-friendly and some boozy iced tea recipes to make being at home seem cooler than it actually is!
1. CLASSIC ICED TEA
Let’s start with the basic and classic recipe of iced tea. Something to make on the day that you just want some chilled iced tea without the frills. Plus point? The baking soda neutralises the tannins in black tea, giving it a smoother taste. This same trick works to take the bitterness out of green tea as well. So, this one is sweet enough to keep drinking it minus the bitter notes!
12 regular-size tea bags
⅛ teaspoon baking soda
1000ml distilled or bottled water
300ml simple syrup
Get It Right: Place your tea bags and baking soda in a heat-proof pitcher. Pour boiling water over it and let it steep for seven minutes. Remove the tea bags without squeezing them. Add the ice, stir till it melts. Mix in the simple syrup and serve it over ice.
2. LONG ISLAND ICED TEA (LIIT)
This popular bar drink holds its ground across continents. A staple amongst those who want it all in one drink the LIIT is a must-try. We know it isn’t really iced tea in the real sense, but how can we not have this on our list? Now that we can’t go around freely drinking in bars past curfew, here is how you can make this boozy version to accompany your late-night lounge fest.
4 cups ice cubes
60ml white rum
60ml white tequila
30ml Triple Sec
4 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
250ml cola, or to taste
4 lemon wedges for garnish
Get It Right: Fill the cocktail shaker with ice. Add in the vodka, gin, white rum, white tequila, triple sec and lemon juice. Cover and shake well until combined and chilled. Pour the mixture along with the ice into four tall glasses, top it off with cola. Garnish with lemon wedges and serve.
3. LEMONADE ICED TEA
Lemonade iced tea or as we fondly call it lemon iced tea, is the quintessential must-have in the drinks section of the menu. We know some brands have ready-made lemon iced tea mixes, but nothing can taste better than one made using fresh ingredients. Of course, if the plain lemon iced tea doesn’t cut it for you, you can always make it an alcoholic one by adding bourbon or spiced dark rum. Cheers!
2 tea bags
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1000ml cold water
360ml lemon juice concentrate or fresh lemon juice
250ml bourbon (optional)
250ml spiced dark rum (optional)
fresh citrus slices for garnish
Get It Right: Bring the 750 ml of water to boil in a saucepan. Remove from heat, add the tea bags and let it steep along with fresh mint leaves for 10 minutes. Remove and discard the tea bags and mint leaves. Add in the sugar and mix till dissolved. To the tea mixture add the cold water and lemonade concentrate and serve over ice. This makes about eight glasses! For the boozy version, add 250ml of bourbon or spiced dark rum to make a cocktail that serves nine people!
4. MOCK TEA SANGRIA
A sangria that the kids too can enjoy is a win-win situation if you ask us!. This deep red drink tastes as luxurious as it looks. With the goodness of citrus all in one pitcher, this iced tea is a party changer.
1 pack frozen raspberries, thawed
1 tea bag
500ml red grape juice
1 Italian lemon, sliced
1 lime, sliced
500ml orange soft drink, chilled
Get It Right: Run raspberries in a blender until smooth. Pour it through a fine-mesh sieve into a large container, discarding the seeds. Simultaneously bring the water along with the sugar to a boil. Remove from the heat, add the teabag and let it steep for five minutes. Remove the teabag, and let the mixture cool. Bring together the tea mixture, pureed raspberries, grape juice, and lemon and lime slices. Cover and chill for 2 to 24 hours. Pour in the orange soft drink when you are ready to serve it over ice.
5. SPIKED GINGER ICED TEA
Who doesn’t like ginger ale? Who doesn’t like lemon? Get these two together and it’s a match made in iced tea heaven! What can make it better you ask? Well, alcohol of course!
3 orange-flavoured tea bags (you could also use English Breakfast)
750ml boiling water
2 cups ice plus more for serving
2 lemons, juiced, plus wedges for serving
1000ml ginger ale
honey to taste (optional)
Get It Right: Steep the tea bags in boiling water for 3 minutes (use a heat-proof vessel). Remove the tea bags and add the ice to cool them down. Pour into the serving pitcher, then, add the lemon juice, vodka and ginger ale. Serve over ice and garnish with lemon wedges.
6. BOOZY POMEGRANATE ICED TEA
This is not your regular cup of (iced) tea. The boozy pomegranate iced tea is a fun cocktail to share around when your friends are over. Spike it with alcohol and holy moly, you are good to go.
ice cubes to fill the glass
120ml pomegranate liqueur
iced tea of choice (refer to classic ice tea recipe on the top)
Fresh mint for garnish
Get It Right: Take two glasses or mason jars and fill them with ice. Divide the pomegranate liqueur (60ml each), and vodka (30ml each) into the glasses. Fill it with iced tea till the brim. Garnish with fresh mint.
7. MINTY ICED GREEN TEA
Every person who has ever tried a diet knows what green tea tastes like. We’re not hating on it, but it can be jazzed up to taste better. This minty iced green tea does just that. While still retaining the good old taste of green tea, the flavours of mint just peak to tingle your taste buds. Happy drinking!
1 cup fresh mint leaves, washed
3-4 green teabags
honey or agave, fresh lavender leaves (optional)
Get It Right: Place the mint leaves in a pitcher. Muddle the leaves gently to extract the flavour of the mint. Add in the tea bags and pour in water over them. Refrigerate for four to six hours. Once chilled, remove the tea bags and serve over ice. Add honey or agave to sweeten the tea. You could also add lavender leaves if available.
8. PEACH ICED TEA
This one falls under the famed iced-tea versions across menus around the world, second only to its lemony counterpart: The trusty peach iced tea. Filled with the goodness of lush peaches infused with freshly steeped tea, there is no question on why this is a crowd favourite!
2 ripe peaches, thinly sliced, plus more for serving
Get It Right: Bring the sugar, 250ml of water and peaches to a boil. Lower the heat and muddle the peaches to infuse flavour. Once the sugar is dissolved remove it from the heat, cover and let it steep. Simultaneously, dip your teabags in boiling water and let them steep for four to five minutes. Remove the tea bags and transfer the tea to a big pitcher and let it cool. Strain out the peaches from the sugar syrup. Mix the peach-infused syrup with the chilled tea. Pour over ice in 10 cups to serve and garnish with peach slices.
9. BUTTERFLY PEA FLOWER ICED TEA
It’s the newest tea on the block. Butterfly pea flower tea is a herbal tea that is made by steeping butterfly pea flowers in water, which turns the water blue. It is caffeine-free and a trend that is catching up because of its colour changing properties. The colour of the tea goes from blue to purple if you add something acidic to it like lemon juice (change of pH levels). It’s like magic in a glass!
1,250ml water, divided
200gms granulated sugar
100gms dried butterfly pea flowers
250ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
Get It Right: In a saucepan mix together the sugar, 750ml of water and the dried butterfly pea flowers. Bring it to a simmer and then remove from heat. Let it steep for about 10 minutes then sieve to discard the flowers. In another jar, mix the lemon juice and the remaining 500ml of water. To serve, fill a glass with ice, pour in the steeped butterfly pea flower syrup and add in the lemon water to watch the magic happen. Fill till the blue turns to a vibrant purple or pink. Enjoy your drink!
From the basics to the luxurious new flavours of ice tea, this list covers it all. There is one for everyone out there. What are you waiting for? Get steeping!
[Image Credit: Shutterstock]