June is National Iced Tea Month!
Just as January is considered Hot Tea Month, the month of June is dedicated to Iced Tea. June marks the official beginning of Summer - that wondrous season of time in the sun, long days, carefree thoughts and a tall glass to refresh. Iced Tea has come a long way from the hot summer of the World's Fair in St. Louis in 1904 where people went in search of cold beverages. An enterprising merchant added ice to the steeped tea and brought instant refreshment to the crowds.
Iced Tea is simple to prepare and enjoy, not to mention an inexpensive healthful alternative to soda and sugary drinks. It requires just a few teaspoons of loose leaf tea, water and a short 5 minutes to steep. Stay away from the powdery mixes widely available in the supermarket as they are usually loaded with sugar. Some of our favorite summer blends are On Sale including Tango Squeeze and South Pacific Fruit Tisane.
Here are a 5 tips to make great Iced Tea:
- Remember, any tea can be iced. Go beyond the usual Peach or Raspberry and try Jasmine or tart flavors such as Passionfruit. Combine flavors - Vanilla Orange or Ginger Peach or perhaps Mint Oolong.
- Add sliced fruit to the steeped tea. Excellent choices are strawberry, melon, peach or even grapes.
- Add fruit juice to iced tea to give it a more substantial body.
- A splash of lemonade or seltzer or tonic water provides a sparkle.
- Finally - remember not to leave Iced Tea out at room temperature all day. Put it on Ice!
Mango Orange Sparkling Iced Tea Recipe
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup water, boiling
2 heaped tsp. Tango Squeeze Black Tea
1 1/2 cups sparkling water, chilled
1/2 of orange, thinly sliced
To make simple syrup: In small saucepan, bring the orange juice and sugar to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until sugar has fully dissolved, about 5 minutes. Cool for 20 minutes.
To make tea: Bring 1 cup water to boil. Put the tea leaves in an infuser basket, pour boiling water over the tea leaves and steep for 5 minutes. Remove the leaves and allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes. Pour the tea and simple syrup into a small pitcher and stir well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
To serve: Pour chilled sparkling water into the pitcher, add the orange slices. Pour tea in to 2 ice-filled glasses. Garnish with orange slices. Refresh yourself!