Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Orange Mint Iced Tea
Sooo very hot here. This kind of iced tea hits the spot though. When I was out with my family for a holiday dinner, I ordered an unsweetened flavored iced tea. I liked it, and decided to make my own at home. Normally, one just uses a flavored tea, brews it up and pours it over ice. That is fine, but I wanted more flavor. At the grocery the other day, I found this box of Twining's Orange Bliss tea on sale for just 50 cents. Of course it went into my cart. I tried it brewed then iced, but then, thinking about the tea from Logan's, I started in with a little kitchen chemistry.
I have this wonderful little electric tea pot that I use all the time. It heats the water really quickly and doesn't take too much room on the counter. It will make a quart of tea in no time, much faster than waiting for the kettle to boil on the stove. I used a quart canning jar to steep four bags of the orange tea with one peppermint tea. Once the tea bags were out, I added the sweetener. This time, I used 3 Tablespoons of ZSweet granular. It dissolves very easily in the hot liquid. Although I am generally an unsweetened tea drinker, I can remember watching others stir and stir, trying to dissolve sugar into iced tea, only to be left with gritty white residue in the bottom of the glass. Since I am the dishwasher in the house, I knew I didn't want that! Drink snobs will tell you to make a simple syrup to blend sugar into cold drinks. I could do that, but instead, I just sweetened it while still hot. Clever--or lazy--me.
To up the flavor even more, I added two packets of True Orange. What an amazing difference that made! This is a concentration intended to be diluted a bit. I like about 3 parts tea to 1 part water. If it is still hot.most of that will be in the melting ice. But it is good to place the lid back on the canning jar and keep the remainder in the fridge. My hubby refuses any sweetened tea, but I actually got one of my boys to sample and like it. Maybe his tastes are maturing. This is definitely a step up from orange Koolaid! Maybe it was that little spring of fresh mint that made all the difference....or not.