There’s still time to enjoy sunsets on the verandah with a chilled boozy iced tea and friends
Iced tea began appearing in the hot southern states of America in the 1860s. A curiosity at first, this cooled, sweetened tea was a mainstay a decade later – so much so cutlery sets routinely came with a long “iced tea spoon” for stirring sugar into a tall glass.
Often served with lemon or mint, iced tea is practically a mixer already. It’s just a case of pairing up the flavours. When choosing a spirit, try pick something white such as gin to pair with a fruitier tea. Black teas can also be mixed with spirits such as bourbon.
Making a pitcher to share with friends is easiest, and it will keep in the fridge for a few days. Here’s how:
Brew your chosen tea in a pot, making enough for six people. Allow it to cool to room temperature and then transfer to a pitcher with ice.
Add ½ a cup of your chosen sweetener – honey, maple syrup or sugar syrup all work well but be aware honey and maple syrup can change the flavour profile.
Stir in half a cup of your chosen spirit.
Finally, garnish with citrus or fragrant herbs that complement the flavours.
Top tip: Some fruit teas can be brewed cold to save time.
Here are some simple pairings to try:
Earl Grey Extra
Earl Grey is refreshing warm or chilled. Mix with dry gin, honey and a splash of lemon juice for a sophisticated afternoon cooler. Try a sprig of lavender to garnish.
Use peach or lemon-and-ginger tea, and combine with sugar syrup and six large sprigs of mint. Bourbon works well with this recipe. Leave for an hour or so in the fridge for flavours to infuse and stir before serving.
Spicy chai works wonders as an iced tea – add the milk once the brewed tea has cooled. Maple syrup is a great sweetener and you could add a ¼ cup of amaretto to your pitcher for a rich almond flavour.