With temperatures hitting 36 Celsius this week in parts of the UK, I thought it would be appropriate to rustle up a few batches of possibly the most refreshing drink there is, iced tea.

I make iced tea all the time because it’s vastly cheaper than buying it and you can get creative with styles and flavours. On top of that, you cut out the unhealthy additives and unnecessary sugar while maintaining the refreshing, energising and tasty qualities of good iced tea.

This time I’m making three fairly basic brews from three very different types of tea.

Photo: James Fox

First, a classic iced tea made with regular loose tea added to boiling water and left to cool. For flavouring chop some peaches and add to boiling water with a decent amount of sugar. After an hour you should have a nice syrup to add to your brew. This process can repeated with pretty much any fruit you like.

Next up, I made an iced green tea. To avoid letting it get too bitter, this was brewed with cold water. It takes several hours to infuse but the subtler flavour is well worth it. Lemon and mint work well in this one, though it’s also perfectly nice on its own.

Finally, I tried an iced yerba mate. If you don’t know what mate is, see an earlier article I wrote for this series. This South American infusion can be rather bitter so I simply added a drop of honey to take the edge off – a cardinal sin according to some mate drinkers but I think it worked well in a cold drink. In an iced version the mate retained its smoky and bitter qualities but I found it a bit more approachable than the hot drink.

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