I love fruit iced teas and make a lot of variations. Any over ripe or bruised fruit goes into these delicious summer drinks. We sometimes make fruity cocktails too.
Years ago on one hot summer day after being knackered by housework and my crazy kids I just mashed one of the overripe peaches and added it to a big glass of chilled lemonade (not the usual shikanji with kala namak etc. This was sweet one). No one was willing to eat this orphaned peach and I wasn’t in mood for iced tea.
The lemonade tasted different and nice but not what I was looking for. Many days later while making peach compote I added the warm sugary muddled peach pulp to the lemonade. It turned out absolutely divine and thus began my love for fruity lemonades. I then experimented with many fruits and till now these remain my favorite over the plain lemonade. Who said lemonades were only about lemons.
I had added sugar to that one but later I didn’t feel the need or the urge to sweeten the drink with added sugar. As I often used organic honey to make the lemonade. Adding it to the simply muddled warm peaches seemed a good idea. I evolved the recipe and made it differently many times with ginger and mint, with basil, with vodka and gin, with sugar instead of honey, blended or with chucks of peaches in it. I even froze lemonade in ice cube trays with soft peach pulp in it and added those to the pitcher. Sometimes adding the preferred alcohol to it. Each tasted differently. My favorite is with soft muddled peach pulp along with some peach and lemon wedges. Simple and refreshing. Too many flavors mar the drink.
Here’s how I made it. There are two ways to do it and I will tell you both.
2-3 large ripe juicy peaches
4 cups water
1/4 cup Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 inch Fresh Ginger Slice (crushed)
Few Fresh mint leaves muddled
2-3 tablespoon Organic Honey
Peach slices and lemon wedges to add to lemonade and to garnish
Method 1 :
Wash and cut the peaches in small pieces with the skin on. Discard the stone.
In a pan add those pieces and simmer on medium flame stirring constantly. When they become soft lightly press them gently with the back of the spoon and take them out in a bowl. Once they cool add honey and mix well. Keep the mix in the fridge for chilling.
Meanwhile, make lemonade by mixing lemon juice, ginger, mint and cold water.
Add the chilled peach pulp to the lemonade and throw in some slender peach slices and lemon wedges.
Keep the lemonade in fridge so it chills well. I avoid adding ice for it dilutes the drink. Sometimes I make ice cubes from the same lemonade and add those.
You can put it in the freezer for sometime and then crush it to make the drink super chilled. Spoon in some peach pulp in the glasses when you serve. You can make it as a slushie too.
You can keep the peach pulp for a day more in case you wish to make peach iced tea like I did.
There was some cold brew iced tea remaining from day before and added some of the pulp to that. I let it seep in the fridge while enjoying my peach lemonade. The resting gave a nice flavor to the tea and we had it later in the day.
Method 2 :
In a bowl add peach pieces and sugar. Mix and let it sit for some time. Heat a thick bottom pan and add the peach sugar mix. Keep the flame medium low and stir till the mixture becomes pulpy. Remove from heat and cool. Blend it in a mixer or blender and add to the lemonade. You can also bring to boil peaches, sugar and little water then cool and blend. Add this mix to a pitcher of cold water, add lemon juice , muddled mint etc and serve chilled. Use two cups of water for the peach syrup and two cups to add later in the pitcher.
As I use honey I don’t boil the water but warming the peaches brings out some nice flavors.
For the tea I sometimes just roughly chop the peaches and tip into the cold brew tea. Sometimes I make the tea by adding hot water (not boiling) over tea leaves and then straining it to desired strength. I chill it and add the peach pulp, lemon juice, lemon wedges, peach slices to it.
See, how many different way are there to enjoy this fantastic homemade summer drink.
Do try the Peach lemonade and / or the peach Iced Tea and you’ll see how refreshing and amazing it is. You’ll never go for the synthetic one again.
Spiking 1 liter of lemonade or Iced tea with 60-80 ml of alcohol is good way to make a tipsy version. It depends on your taste. I add a little less vodka than peach schnapps when making the alcohol version. These are my preferred choices but you can add whiskey or gin too. A good peach vodka goes well with both the iced tea and the lemonade.
Do let me know if you make any of the the two.