Cool down this summer with flavored iced tea

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Iced tea is always my beverage of choice, and on hot days there is nothing better. I remember as a child my mom made fresh tea every day. Nothing tasted better than that quart jar of iced tea wrapped in newspaper when we got to the end of the soybean row from chopping weeds from the bean rows in the field. Today I am featuring flavored iced tea recipes that you might enjoy on a hot day. The Food Network cookbooks or the website are full of beverage recipes.

Orange Iced Tea

Recipe by Giada De Laurentis, Food Network

Syrup:

1 cup orange juice

1/2 cup sugar

Tea:

2 cups water

7 black tea bags (recommended: Red Rose)

3 cups sparkling water, chilled

1/2 small orange, thinly sliced

Ice

Fresh mint or basil sprigs, to garnish

Special equipment: a 60-ounce (7 1/2 cups) pitcher

For the syrup: In a small saucepan, bring the orange juice and sugar to a boil over medium-high heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool for 20 minutes.

For the tea: In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the tea bags and remove the pan from the heat. Allow the tea to steep and cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Remove the tea bags and discard. Pour the tea and syrup into a pitcher and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To serve: Pour the sparkling water into the pitcher and add the orange slices. Pour the tea into four ice-filled glasses. Garnish with fresh mint, or basil, and serve. Yields four servings.

Sweet Apple Iced Tea

Recipe by Giada De Laurentis, Food Network

6 cups water

6 sweet apple tea bags (recommended: Celestial Seasonings Sweet Apple Chamomile)

1 1/3 cups Vanilla Simple Syrup, recipe follows

1 small apple, thinly sliced

1/2 lemon, thinly sliced

Ice

In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the tea bags. Allow the liquid to cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Remove the tea bags and discard. Add the Vanilla Simple Syrup and stir. Pour the mixture into a glass pitcher. Add the apple and lemon slices and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Pour the tea into ice-filled glasses and serve.

Vanilla Simple Syrup:

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup water

1 vanilla bean, cut in 1/2 lengthwise and seeds removed

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, water, vanilla bean and vanilla bean seeds. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the syrup to cool, about 20 minutes. Strain before using. Yields 4 to 6 servings.

Refrigerator Brewed Sweet Iced Tea

Recipe by Sunny Anderson, Food Network

1 orange

2 to 3 plums

8 tea bags (recommended: Lipton)

1/2 cup sugar

1 lemon

Directions

Fill a large pitcher with 2 quarts of cold water. Quarter orange, squeeze juice into pitcher as well as add the peels. Pit and cut plums into wedges and add to the pitcher. Cut the strings off the tea bags and mix the bags into the liquid. Let tea steep in the refrigerator 8 hours or overnight, stirring occasionally.

When ready, remove orange peel and tea bags from pitcher. To the tea, stir in sugar until it dissolves. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice from 1 half into the tea. Slice the other half into rounds and add to the tea. Serve over ice.

Ginger Tea Lemonade

Recipe by Giada De Laurentis

2 cups water

3 black tea bags, preferably English breakfast tea

1 1/3 cups Ginger Simple Syrup, recipe follows

2/3 cup fresh lemon juice, from about 3 lemons

1 cup sparkling water or club soda, chilled

2 cups ice

Lemon slices, for garnish, optional

In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and add the tea bags. Stir and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Remove the tea bags and discard. Add the Ginger Simple Syrup, lemon juice, and sparkling water.

Put the ice in a large pitcher. Pour the lemonade mixture over the ice. Garnish with lemon slices and serve. Yields 4 to 6 servings.

Ginger Simple Syrup:

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup water

1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

In a small saucepan, over medium heat, combine the sugar, water and ginger. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the syrup to cool, about 20 minutes. Strain before using.

Yield: 1 1/3 cups

Tea Punch

2 cups instant tea

Lemon sugar

2 quarts water

1 quart ginger ale or Sprite

Dissolve instant tea, lemon and sugar in water. Add ginger ale or Sprite.

Have a great week and, until next time, happy cooking.

Susan McClanahan is administrator at the Cape Girardeau Senior Center. Send recipes to her at news@semissourian.com or by mail at P.O. Box 699, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701. Recipes published have not been kitchen-tested by Southeast Missourian staff.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: