My husband, John, loves iced green tea–especially during the warm months of summer. I suspect he loves the clinking sound ice makes in his glass, but I’ve been known to be wrong about motives! Perhaps, instead, he loves the fresh lemon slices I keep on hand for our tea. Then, it again, it could be that he’s been reading WebMD, and he is fond of the antioxidants green tea possesses as well as the fact that 2013 review of literature reveals that green tea improves blood flow and lowers cholesterol. Regardless, green tea’s refreshing, light taste makes it the perfect summer drink for anyone, including John!
I tend to make our pitchers of iced green tea out of decaffeinated tea bags, so we can drink the tea all day long without worries of evening jitters. Further, decaf tea is not dehydrating like caffeinated drinks tend to be–an important factor to consider when the summer temperatures begin to soar. That said, the recipe that I will share with you can be made with either regular tea or decaffeinated tea.
Walking down the beverage isle of my grocery store, I noticed all the tea flavored waters, tea drink brands, and flavored teas. A bit later, I wandered into the beer/wine section of the store and spied a wide array of “spiked” or “hard” teas. This led to me wondering, why not make these at home? Then, you can make any flavored tea beverage you like with as little or as much flavor enhancer as your taste buds prefer; and, they could be non-alcoholic, or spiked, depending upon your preference!
Creating flavored tea is as simple as combing your glass of green tea with your favorite pure extracts, juices, or even those flavored water enhancers, such as Crystal Light, Mio, or Stur, a product that states to be an all-natural stevia based product. Furthermore, adding fresh sliced citrus fruits, muddled berries, or crushed fruit flesh, such as watermelon are other simple, natural, and tasty tea flavor enhancers. The fun comes from playing around with different add-ins, until you find the combination(s) that suit your current mood or taste preference. One night, try adding in pomegranate juice; whereas, the next night try muddling fresh berries in the bottom of your glass before pouring in your green tea and adding ice.
Want an antioxidant rich cocktail? Try adding any of the above additions as well as an ounce (or so) of your favorite clear liquor, such as vodka, tequila, or rum. Plus, there are all varieties of flavored liquor that might be worth exploring on a Friday night!
Why not try brewing up a pitcher of iced green tea using my recipe below? Then, grab some friends, family, and plenty of glasses, so the experimenting can begin! The variety of flavored teas you create are only limited by your imagination! (Send me pics of your creations!)
From my home to yours, I wish you healthy, happy, homemade meals, or in this case, beverages! Cheers! (Cue the sound of clinking glasses.)
Steph’s Favorite Green Tea
8 bags green tea (either with or without caffeine is fine.
3 cups almost boiling water
3 cups chilled water (or ice)
1/2 cup (more or less to taste preference & sweetness of products you’ll be adding in) of your favorite sweetener (I prefer Stevia based products)
Prepare 8 tea bags for brewing.
In a teapot, bring fresh water to a near boil.
Using a heat resistant measuring cup, measure and pour 3 cups worth of near boiling water into a heat-resistant pitcher over tea bags.
Allow to steep 5 minutes.
Gently squeeze excess tea from tea bags and remove from pitcher.
Stir in 3 cups of chilled water or ice.
Stir in favorite sweetener, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Makes 6-8 glasses.
When ready to serve, let the creative play with favorite add-in begin with each glass!
Tip: Drink this tea up within 2-3 days as it develops an odd flavor if allowed to get old.