All summer, AK has this keeda to have a “refreshing beverage”. So much so that he walks round the house aimlessly for half an hour, contemplating whether (a) he should make one; (b) he should get me to make it; (c) if he is making it, then should it have alcohol and so on.
This weekend, it spurred me on to make a few variations of iced-tea! Although, I’m beginning to love my iced-coffee more than the tea, it’s definitely more refreshing. And perfect to wash down lunch on a hot summer day!
I’m pretty against using an iced-tea premix or having it out of a bottle because I feel it has more sugar than tea or flavour. So I only ever have the fresh made-from-scratch kind, where I can control how strong and sweet it is. I started making this when we realised that my mom had diabetes and we could make it with Splenda/ Sugar Free. (This is obviously before the age of sugar-free pre-mix.) Anyhow, so here are the 3 kinds I made, all in under 10 mins. The garnish and additions took a few mins longer, but that’s all.
For each, I used the following common ingredients:
1 cup/ 250 ml water
1/2 tsp loose un-flavoured tea leaves (any brand or kind – I used Red Label)
1 tsp granulated white sugar (you can substitute with cane sugar/ brown sugar/ honey/ Splenda or Sugar Free) – and adjust to your (sweet) taste
For Ginger-Cardamom – 1/2″ pc of fresh ginger and 2 cardamom pods; a few pieces of sliced peaches for garnish
For Lemon-Mint – 1 lemon and 5-6 sprigs of mint
For Orange-Cinnamon – 1 stick cinnamon & 1 orange
Here’s how I made them:
Firstly, I cut a few slices of the orange for garnish and set them aside.
Then I did the same with the lemon.
Then I grated the zest off the remaining orange and lemon (separately) and added them to 2 different saucepans in which I placed 1 cup of water each.
Then AK decided to take an arty photo with an orange slice!
To the orange water, I added a stick of cinnamon and squeezed in the juice from the remaining zested orange half. In the lemon water, I added about 4 sprigs of mint and squeezed in the juice from the remaining half lemon.
Setting these to boil, I pounded the ginger-cardamom in the mortar and pestle.
Once the water boiled in both saucepans, I added the tea to each. (I would have made all 3 simultaneously but I had only 2 small saucepans!!)
Turning off the heat, I let the mix steep for about 1 minute or so. I didn’t want the tea to get too strong or bitter. I stirred in the sugar into the hot tea and then strained each out into a tall glass (500 ml) over lots of ice.
Here’s the orange-cinnamon:
And the lemon-mint:
Then I repeated the process by boiling the ginger-cardamom with water, adding tea leaves, steeping, adding sugar and straining over ice:
Orange-Cinnamon: I dunked 2 slices in the drink and propped one on the glass
Lemon-Mint: Put in 2 more springs of mint and 2 slices of lemon in the drink. Also propped one slice of lemon on the glass and a whole stem of mint.
Ginger-Cinnamon: Thinly sliced half a peach and stuck the slices on 2 toothpicks so I could prop them on the glass.
And they’re ready!
- It’s definitely easy to pick one variation and make a lot of it, rather than 1 glass of each! But I wanted to share some of my faves.
- You can make the plain one with no flavouring or additives. But do add a squeeze of lemon before pouring over ice.
- These are very spike-able! Feel free to add a bit of citrus liqeuer or Bacardi to any of these! Some peach schnapps could also do well.