Iced tea is the quintessential summer drink — refreshing, flavorful, beautifully herbal, and sometimes fruity. This is a drink to quench your thirst even on the most sweltering of days.
There’s a trick to perfect iced tea, though. You must find the right sweetness and you must also find the perfect concentration, and they vary from person to person. I recommend using six tea bags for every eight cups of water, but the steeping time drastically changes the tea’s concentration. As for the sugar, today we’re using none.
Here’s a tip: If you want the iced tea extra strong, you can always squeeze those tea bags to extract the last drop of flavor. I know, squeezing tea bags is frowned upon, but remember your tea, your rules.
Water, tea, lots of ice and a splash of freshly squeezed lemon — that’s the perfect pitcher of iced tea. The sweetener is optional. Use no sugar at all, like in the recipe below, or add sugar.
You can also sweeten the tea with honey or any zero-calorie sweetener in the market. From unsweetened to overly sweet, there’s no limit here.
If you’re making unsweetened tea, you open yourself to new, exciting possibilities.
The first thing to consider is fruit. See what’s in season, whether it’s citrus fruit or peaches, apples or pears. Berries make delicious tea too, and so is pineapple, really!
If you don’t want to add fruit to the tea, infuse it with fresh herbs. A fistful of basil leaves or mint goes a long way. If you think tea is refreshing, wait until you try these.
Add more than a splash of lemon to put together a pitcher of Lemonade Iced Tea Recipe. Actually, a splash of any fruit juice, including orange juice, pineapple juice or even cranberry juice, will add a new dimension to the tea. The juice will bring some color to the pitcher as well, and you don’t need to add extra sugar.
It doesn’t matter how you like the tea as long as you make enough to share with those around you. Everyone tends to gather around tea, especially on a hot summer day. Iced tea is noble like that; it brings people together!
In a kettle, bring the water to a boil and pour in a heat-resistant pitcher or container.
Steep the tea backs for around 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Press the tea bags to the side of the pitcher for a stronger tea.
Remove the tea bags and let the tea cool down at room temperature.
Chill the tea in the fridge for at least one hour.
Fill the glasses with ice and pour the tea. Serve with a lemon wedge on the side.