I always loved tea. Tea offers so many different varieties and flavors and can really warm your soul. I find sipping a cup of tea to be deliciously relaxing and comforting.
When my kids were little, they wanted to drink tea just like me. When I offered it to them, they asked for spoonsful of sugar to sweeten the tea. I would tell them that they were only ready to enjoy tea when they were willing to sip the tea without the sugar. It became “a coming of age” ritual in our family.
My high-protein, low carb diet does not allow for sugar, so I am drinking lots of water. When the weather was cooler, I enjoyed hot tea with my main meals in addition to water. Now that the weather has warmed up a bit, I miss the flavor and comfort of tea at mealtime, but do not want something hot. I have been preparing iced tea, instead.
Iced tea offers a colorful and flavorful sugar-free alternative to water that is easily varied in flavor by using different flavored tea bags. I prepare a few large bottles of iced tea at a time and keep them in the refrigerator, available whenever I am thirsty.
To make this iced tea, it is best to steep the hot tea bags in a large wide-mouthed vessel like a mason jar or a large mug. The longer that you steep the tea, the more color and flavor will be imparted. I do not add any sugar, but you can easily add sugar, honey, agave syrup or sweetener to the steeping tea, if you desire.
For this recipe, I have made a caffeine-free version. If you would like caffeinated tea, just use caffeinated tea varieties or add regular caffeinated tea bags to this recipe.
I find that the Wisotsky fruit teas like Pomegranate Orchard, Tazo teas and Celestial Seasonings Zinger varieties offer robust flavor and color. These teas create a beautiful and deliciously satisfying drink and you acn use different teas together to find your own favorite and unique iced tea flavor. . To add extra sparkle, I sometimes add a hint of pungent flavor using one full-bodied tea bag like Earl Grey or Licorice Spice. I also like to add cinnamon sticks, fresh lemon, lime or ginger root as the tea steeps to add some extra pizzazz.
3-4 assorted tea bags
mint leaves, citrus or ginger root, or cinnamon stick (optional)
Agave syrup, honey, or sugar (optional)
Fill large mug or mason jar with hot water. Steep tea bags, ginger, cinnamon stick or citrus in hot water and stir with a wooden spoon. Allow tea to steep until tea reaches room temperature or overnight.
Use funnel to decant steeped tea into glass bottle or empty wine bottle and discard tea bags and any other ingredients. Add water to top of bottle.
For caffeinated iced tea, substitute one or two of the tea bags with ordinary caffeinated tea bags.
Add fresh lemon or lime to hot water with tea bags. Discard once tea has steeped.
Add Mint or Nana leaves to hot water with tea bags. Discard once tea has steeped.
For sweet iced tea, add sweetener, sugar, honey or Agave syrup to hot water with tea bags. Stir well to dissolve.
Serve in a tall glass with ice cubes, fresh lemon or mint and an old-fashioned paper straw.
For a bubbly twist, add ice and seltzer to iced tea right before serving.
As a beautiful gift for Mishloach Manos on Purim, fill a glass bottle with your favorite tea, label and deliver to your friends and family.
Use a recycled and cleaned wine bottle with a decorative cork . Alternatively, use an interestingly-shaped clean plastic recycled bottle. If using a plastic bottle, make sure to let iced tea come to room temperature before decanting into plastic.
Print a gift tag using these printables:
Affix labels with glue stick. Add your favorite protein bar or snack in a plastic party bag and secure to the side of the iced tea bottle with a rubber band or ribbon.