My friend recently hosted an afternoon tea party. She called it, ‘The long and short of it’. Interesting! While she had the perfect coffee brewing and these amazingly cool mugs to serve, I quickly decided to grab a tall glass of iced tea.
A few days later, I experimented and came up with some rather cool recipes of iced teas, and invited my friends over. This is what I brewed:
Cranberry and black currant sharpener with crystallized ginger
In this very unusual mix of flavors, you would need to boil 6 cups of water and infuse 12 black currant tea bags and 1 tbsp. of fresh minced ginger. After removing from heat and allowing tea to steep for almost 10 minutes, add 6 tbsp. cranberry juice and ¼ cup sugar or honey. Chill.
Just before serving, strain tea and garnish with crystallized ginger roundels.
Peppermint and basil sparkling tea
A sparkling concoction of everything fresh, you would need to throw in a cup each of fresh basil and mint leaves in a large pan containing 8 cups of boiling water.
Add 1/3 cup of maple syrup. Let it stand for 10 minutes. For a much sharper taste, crush the leaves. Chill and serve.
Avocado iced green
This one is really fresh, and very healthy! Completely unique I say. Steep 16 tsp. green tea leaves in 4 cups of boiling water. Let stand, and drain after a few minutes.
Add juice of 2 grapefruits, 2 tsp. grated ginger, 1 finely diced chili pepper, 2 ripe avocados, juice of 2 lemons, 2 cups simple syrup and 8 cups ice. Blend until smooth.
Cucumber and mint tingle
As cool as the name may sound, this tea requires you to infuse ½ cup pureed cucumber, ¼ cup muddled fresh mint leaves, ¼ cup lime juice, simple syrup and a few ice cubes into nicely brewed green tea. Chill and serve garnished with sliced cucumber and a mint twig.
Lemon and almond zinger
A little zingy, a lot more nutty, the concoction is pure vanilla. Seep 10 black tea bags into 4 cups of boiling water. Add wedges of 2 lemons and give them each a squeeze.
Add in 1 cup of sugar and chill. Pop with 1 tbsp. almond extract, 2 tsp. vanilla extract and a 2 liter bottle of any lemon carbonated drink only before serving.
While you must try these cool recipes, here are some tips for perfecting them
- When tea is chilled, the flavors lose their prominence. Use enough tea bags and steep them for a little over 10 minutes to get the taste all pepped-up
- Never, and I mean never overstep the tea bags thinking you are sharpening the flavors. Over steeping makes the tea taste bitter
- Always add sugar to hot water. Dissolves better
- Cool the tea before refrigerating. Or else, it becomes cloudy
- Avoid artificial flavors
- The tea tastes best when made fresh
Oh, did I tell you: I invited eight of my best buddies. These servings were just enough.