Summer Special – Homemade Iced Teas


Peach Iced Tea

Peach Iced tea from Olive Kitchen and bar. It was an Instagram event where I gone.

 

I am more of a coffee person but I absolutely love Iced Teas and Tisanes. I am sure you know the difference between Tisane and tea. Tisanes are fruits or herbs steeped in boiling water (no actual tea leaves, Camellia sinensis, are included).

These Iced tea here are made with either Darjeeling Tea or CTC Assam black tea. These aren’t Tisanes. Have I confused you ? :p

Maybe it is time to have some delicious Iced Teas. The good thing about making Iced Teas at home is the freshness and the purity. No artificial flavors, coloring or high sugar content. They are better than the soft drinks and packaged commercial beverages. So infuse your teas with whatever seasonal herbs/spice or fruit you like and drink it fresh.

These recipes have a Indian touch to them. I have tried to create some unique tastes so feel free to change the measures as per your taste.

First the basic Iced tea – You can either make a cold brew or a hot brew and chill it. I prefer to chill a hot brew for it is quicker.

Always add boiling water to the tea leaves and not the opposite, that is the thumb rule. Always prefer more leaves to make the tea stronger than to let it seep for long time. This will make the tea bitter. Cool the tea on counter before refrigerating otherwise it will cloud and won’t look so presentable. Always use double the quantity of tea leaves for iced teas from what you would use for hot tea. Darjeeling tea needs to be cooled quickly or else the flavor substances in the tea will get oxidized. Loose tea leaves are the best. Most of the teabags are synthetic. Tea leaves also makes a full flavor brew so go for them, invest in good tea. Use minimum sugar/honey etc. but that is personal. I don’t like my teas taste like a sugar syrup. ūüėõ ¬†Talking of sugar syrup, you can make some and use that instead of granules as it will dissolve nicely. Use honey for the best result and if you like it.¬†Iced Tea brew can be kept in the fridge for two three days or frozen for using while travelling.

Basic tea recipe – Keeping the points above in mind, put the tea leaves of your choice in a heat resistance jug or kettle, pour boiling water over them and let them seep for the time required for that particular tea. Once the color and flavor is achieved, strain and cool it on the counter and chill in the fridge. Now you are ready to make any of your favorite Iced Teas.

1. Refreshing Fruity Tart Kokum Infused Iced tea 

Kokum/ amsul or fruit of Garcinia indica plant is sour in taste but full of health benefits. Kokum sharbat is part of my childhood and one of my favorites. Here we give a twist to classic Iced green tea with this lovely sun dried fruit.

To make this you will need:

  • Sun Dried Kokum/Amsul Fruit Petals – 4-8 pieces
  • Sugar – 1/2 Cup
  • Water – 3 Cups
  • Green Tea Loose – 8 teaspoons Or Green Tea Bags – 8
  • Finely Chopped Fresh mint – 2 teaspoon
  • Ginger Juice – 1 Teaspoon
  • Lemon Wedges – 6-8
  • Honey – As per taste and If not using Sugar

Instructions –¬†

  1. Properly rinse sun dried kokum and soak it in a cup of boiling hot water for 30 minutes.
  2. Once the fruit is pulpy and soft mash and rub it with your fingers to release all the juice and strain it from a strainer. Press the pulp nicely so all the juice releases.
  3. While the kokum is soaking finely chop washed fresh mint leaves, take out juice from fresh ginger and cut small lemon wedges.
  4. In an ice cube tray place these three things in small amount and add water.
  5. Freeze till ice cubes are formed. You can make these ice cubes in advance too or just mix the three ingredients in the Iced tea once made.
  6. In a pot boil the water. In a pitcher place the tea bags or loose green tea leaves and pour the boiling water over it.
  7. Cover and let it seep for 3-5 minutes.
  8. Always use twice the amount of tea leaves when makes Iced Tea than you would for hot tea. Don’t seep it longer or the tea will taste bitter.
  9. Remove the bags or strain the tea leaves once you get the desire color and flavor.
  10. Add the sugar and stir well so it dissolves completely.
  11. Let it sit on the counter till it cools then refrigerate, It will become cloudy if you keep warm tea in the fridge.
  12. In a jug add the cold tea brew and kokum juice and mix. Check for sweetness and add more if you prefer sweet tea. I keep it mildly sweet.
  13. Add the mint, ginger juice and lemon wedges if using directly and mix.
  14. Fill the serving glasses with lemony gingery minty ice cubes and pour the kokum infused iced green tea.
  15. Serve it fresh and chilled.
 You can alternately Add some kokum pieces to the strained hot tea and let the fruity tart flavor get infused in the tea. Remove it before pouring in the Jug. 2. Add honey instead of sugar if you so desire. You can also use sugar syrup instead of granular sugar. It dissolves better. Use ready-made kokum sharbat concentrate if you do not have fresh or dried fruit. One teaspoon per glass is good enough.
2. Tangy Sweet Amm Panna or Raw Mango Panna Iced Tea 
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I love the mango nectar iced tea made with ripe mangoes but this one with raw mangoes is unique in taste. I made it with a mix of Darjeeling and CTC Assam black tea. Usually I leave a few chunks of slightly crushed raw mango slices in the jug and dont use lemon. Slightly ripe raw mango gives it another twist. Equally good. Needs little honey/sugar too.

Ingredients:

  • Tender Raw Mangoes – 2 small or 1 big
  • Sugar – 1/2 cup or Honey as per taste
  • Lemon wedges – 4-5 ( Optional)
  • Raw mango slices – 4-5 ( Optional)
  • Fresh Mint Leaves – 8-10 crushed
  • Darjeeling Tea leaves + CTC Assam Tea – 6 Heaped Teaspoon + 3 Flat Teaspoons
  • Water – 3 Cups
  • Ice Cubes | Crushed Ice – Made from 3 cups of water

Instructions :

  1. Make ice from the three cups of water in advance.
  2. Wash the mango and boil or roast it till soft. Cool and take out the pulp in a ceramic or glass bowl. Let it cool.
  3. Once cool, put the pulp in blender and add sugar to it. Blend till a smooth texture is obtained. Take it out in a bowl. Mix crushed mint leaves and Refrigerate.
  4. In a pot boil 3 cups of water. Once it begins to boil add CTC tea leaves and then turn off the flame to add the Darjeeling tea leaves. Cover and let it seep for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Take out the ice and crush it properly. Place it in a pitcher and pour the thick tea brew to quicken the cooling process as Darjeeling tea changes in flavor and taste if allowed to cool on its own for a longer time.
  6. Once the tea is cool put it in the fridge.
  7. In a serving jug add the aam panna and top it with cold tea brew. Check for sweetness and add honey or sugar syrup if required. Tea should taste tangy so do not sweeten it too much.
  8. Add more ice cubes to the glasses when ready to serve.
  9. Garnish with lemon wedges/ raw mango slices and mint springs.

You can also roast the mango on direct flame of stove or preheated oven at 200 degree for 30 min depending on the size of the mango. Wrap it in aluminium foil and place on the rack. to get gorgeous roasted mangoes.  You can use organic jaggery instead of sugar or honey. Just ensure that it dissolves nicely. You can make the aam panna concentrate beforehand and use when required. 6. A little ripe green raw mango will give a different flavor and it tastes awesome too.

 

3. Tipsy Fruit Infused Spiced Tea 

Fruit infused spiced ice tea with cinnamon, Clove, ginger, lemon, mint, apple, orange, pomegranate, honey and almost frozen Darjeeling tea. This is a vodka Iced Tea cocktail for those who love a dash of alcohol. A match made in heaven.

Ingredients: 

  • Darjeeling Tea Leaves – 12 Teaspoons
  • Honey – To Taste
  • Cloves – 5-6
  • Cinnamon Stick – 2-3 inch broken in half
  • Ginger – minced and peeled 1 tablespoon
  • Lemon / Lime – cut in wheels/ wedges – 1 each
  • Lemon juice – 2 tablespoon
  • Orange – 1 medium cut in wedges or wheels
  • Apple – 1 cut in wedges or wheels
  • Mint – 1 teaspoon crushed
  • Honey | Sugar – to taste or Sugar
  • Pomegranate pearls – 1/2 cup slightly crushed
  • Water – 4 cups + 2 Cup
  • Vodka / Gin – 60ml

Instructions –¬†

  1. Add lemon juice and a little sugar ( two tablespoons) to 2 cups of water and freeze as ice cubes.
  2. Wash and cut all the fruits and squeeze some lime juice over them. Refrigerate wrapped in a cling wrap.
  3. Mince ginger and collect all the spices and tea leaves.
  4. Boil the remaining water along with ginger and spices.
  5. Once water comes to a boil add the Darjeeling tea leaves or any other tea leaves of your choice and seep according to the tea leaves. Darjeeling will take 3-4 minutes. Add more leaves to make a strong brew. Do not seep longer.
  6. Once you get the desired flavor and color, strain the tea leaves, spices and ginger. Add sugar and stir to mix well. If using honey add it in the pitcher when ready to serve.
  7. Immediately pour the tea on a cupful of crushed ice to hasten the cooling process so the flavor doesn’t get oxidized. Chill it for a while in the fridge.
  8. Before serving, throw in the cold fruits and half of the lemony ice cubes in a pitcher and add the chilled tea
  9. Add vodka / Gin ( you can increase the quantity if you desire but 60 – 90 ml is good enough) . Stir properly.
  10. Now throw in the lemony ice cubes and some chilled fruits from the pitched in the glasses and pour the chilled Iced tea vodka brew.
  11. Garnish with lemon wheels and mint springs.
  12. Serve chilled.

You can use Green tea also for this recipe. Use any fruits or spices you like. Same with the alcohol. Omit Alcohol if you are not in a mood for a tipsy drink.  Keep it simple and flavorful. Too many flavors will ruin the taste.

(This won the first prize in the Better  Butter Summer Drinks Contest)

4.¬† Iced Pomegranate‚Äč Green Tea

With dash of ginger juice, lemon wedges and cold press fresh pom juice frozen as ice cubes to add some drama. Slightly sweetened with honey this is sheer bliss.

I often make ice cubes by placing, crushed mint or fruit pieces or lemon pieces in the ice tray and pour water to make ice cubes. They look pretty in the drinks. One can freeze juices too in the similar way. Maybe a separate post for that sometime.

Ingredients –

Green Tea Bags – 8

Water – 6 cups

Honey – to taste

Pomegranate pearls – for ice cubes and garnish

Cold Press homemade Pom Juice – 1/2 cup

Fresh Ginger Juice – 2 tablespoon

Lemon Wedges – a few

Instructions:

  1. In a heat resistance jug or kettle place the teabags. Boil water and pour over the teabags. Cover the lid and Let it seep for 3-4 mintues or till the desired strength and color is achieved. Remove the Teabags and let it cool. You can alternately use Green tea leaves.
  2. Once the tea is cool, add honey and stir nicely then put the tea in the fridge to chill.
  3. Take a good ripe pomegranate, peal and take out the pearls in a bowl. Transfer the pearls to a zip lock bag and squeeze and press till the pearls release the juice. You can use the cold press juicer. Do not use the commercial poem juice.
  4. Strain the juice into a small jug or glass.
  5.  Take out the chilled tea, mix ginger juice, lemon wedges and pom juice and stir well.
  6. In the glasses add lots of ice cubes or crushed ice and pour the Pomegranate Iced Tea over them and garnish with lemon wheel or wedge.
  7. Serve Chilled.

 

You can be more adventurous and make your own Iced Tea combinations using different  things. Let me know if you make any of these.

 

Cheers!

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Bael Panna | Bel Ka Sharbat


Bel/Bael or stone apple is also known as Elephant apple and Bengal Quince. It gets its name of stone apple due to the hard cover.  It is native to India and the tree is considered sacred for Hindus. Bael fruit is used in traditional medicine. It is also found in Srilanka and Thailand.

Bael fruit is a storehouse of  good health and nutrition. Packed with protein, phosphorus, Vitamin C and B complex and tannin it strengthens the heart and mind, cures acidity, increases body resistance and improve the memory. It also cures ulcers and gastric disorders, treats acidity, burning sensation in the stomach and nausea, cleans the stomach of impurities and cures weak eyes. It is also a good cardiac tonic and energy booster. A good source of beta-carotene, Bael also cure liver problems. It also contain thiamine and riboflavin. Once a week intake of Bael fruit cures Amoebiasis .

Bael is used for making sharbat, chutney and murraba. The fruit is also eaten as medicinal remedy.

To make a healthy Bael  ( Stone apple ) sharbat we need : 

Ingredients :

  • Ripe Fragrant Wood Apple – 1 Medium
  • Sugar/Jaggery powder – To Taste (Depends on the sweetness of bael fruit)
  • Water – About 4 Glasses
  • Fresh Mint Leaves – 10-12
  • Lemon Juice – 1/2 Lemon
  • Lime Quarters – 3-4
  • Rock Salt powder – 1/4 teaspoon per glass
  • Roasted cumin powder – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Ice Cubes

BeFunky Collage

Method : 

  1. Crack open a ripe Bael fruit and scoop out all the fibrous flesh in a large glass bowl. No need to discard the seeds right now.
  2. Add 2 glasses of water to the pulp so that it submerges completely. Cover with a lid and set aside for 2-3 hours.
  3. Now mash the soaked pulp with hands and once it mixes properly sieve it through a thin mesh to collect maximum amount of juice.
  4. Add a little more water and sieve again. Throw away the seeds and insoluble fiber.
  5. Add Sugar/ jaggery powder as per the sweetness of the fruit concentrate and mix well. Refrigerate till you are ready to use.
  6. To serve panna, fill the glasses with ice cubes and pour the bael juice concentrate over it. Add Rock salt powder and the required amount of water and stir properly.
  7. Garnish with lemon wheels and fresh mint sprigs.
  8. Serve chilled.

You can muddle some fresh mint leaves and add to the fruit concentrate too. A hint of ginger also tastes good at times.

Do make the traditional summer beverages that used to be a part of our daily cuisine. They are not just refreshing but also therapeutic. Keep away from commercial, synthetic drinks.

 

Beat The Heat With Falsa (Phalsa) Sharbat


Summer is back with all its vengeance and again it is time to indulge in refreshing, cooling drinks made from seasonal fresh fruits. There is nothing like traditional indigenous coolants like Aam Panna (Raw Mango Drink), Sharbats made from Phalsa, Neebu (Lemon), Bel (wood apple), khus, rose  sherbat, sattu drink, Thandai,  fruit punches / juices  and many others which are either yogurt based or milk based keep the body temperature down and provide the essential nutrients too.

Phalsa (Grewia asiatica) is one of the most¬†popular¬†summer fruits, at least it used to be when I was a girl). These days one¬†doesn’t get it too easily as the berry is easily perishable. I remember the hot summer days when a vendor will pass through the lanes singing a song “kale kale phalse, taravat wale phasle” and we would rush to buy those tangy sweet berries sprinkled with pink salt. Either the berries would be given in conical-shaped leave held together by a toothpick or in a small paper bag. stained by the purple,¬†mauve¬†color of the phalsa.

Grewia asiatica or phalsa is a tropical berry native of  India and South Asia. Mainly grown for the fruit the other parts of the shrub like ,bark and leaves, roots too have  medicinal benefits. The fruit is full of iron, vitamin A, C, B1,2,3, calcium and dietary fiber.  The fruit has loads of health benefits and is as cooling properties that help keep body temperature down.  It helps prevent heat strokes. It offers radiation protection and the seeds contain palmitic, stearic, oleic and linoleic acids. Chewing the seed along with the flesh helps in air growth too.  The peel of the berry has antioxidant properties.

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After a week long search for good phalsa I finally managed to buy it at a local fruit cart. The berries were fresh and perfect for a summer salad. I used half of it for the salad and rest to make the gorgeous sharbat which has a tangy sweet flavor and my favorite.

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Ingredients:

Phalsa Berries (ripe) – 1/2 kg

Sugar – 150 gms (I use boora cheeni) (Quantity of Sugar depends on the sweetness of pulp exact)

Pink Salt (Kaala Namak) Рto taste 

Water –

Method : 

Wash the ripe berries sprinkle a little table salt and leave them for half an hour,

Take just enough water to cover the berries and soak them overnight. (4-5 hours is also enough).  

(I keep it in the refrigerator)

Once soaked mash the berries with finger will the stones are separated.

Remove the stones and give it one stir in the mixer to make the pulp smooth. (The peel of Phalsa has antioxidant properties so I prefer to use it. )

In 3 Cups of water dissolve the sugar.

Add Pink salt to the pulp and mix

Add the pulp to the sugar solution and stir till it blends properly. 

( You can add beetroot slices or kokam syrup instead of sugar to make it sugar free yet sweet and tangy) 

Add crushed ice or ice cubes and a few tender leaves of mint and serve chilled. 

Let me know if you follow my recipe and prepare this healthy thirst quencher. 

Keep cool and stay healthy . 

Related post :

Traditional Indigenous Indian coolants 

Thursday Photo Challenge


Photo Theme for Thursday challenge for fun and learning is Beverages  and I found this beautiful Premium Old Gold Single Malt Whiskey bottle  in shape of a dagger and I loved it.It is an Indian Brand and tastes great ..  Bottled in Sikkim , This has won many awards it seems .

So Cheers to some good times. ūüôā

Recipes: Gourmet Coffee


Get Creative with Coffee


There is something magical about the aroma of fresh roasted beans, which wafts out of a gourmet coffee. The irresistible smell just beckons you to take that first sip of the delicious brew that starts the day with its wake up aroma and completes the perfect meal with a gourmet flourish.

I love to experiment with my cup of coffee at times and the results are amazing. India is still waking up to the gourmet coffee culture. Most of us enjoy the regular plain coffee but some, like me, prefer to indulge.
Add your favorite spirit and the cup will seem lighter on the tongue.

When you add flavorings such as chocolate syrups, or caramel to name a few, these additives give your coffee a unique taste that is qualified as Gourmet Flavored Coffee.

From its humble origins in Ethiopia, coffee has grown to become a craze in our world.

How can one make a great Gourmet Coffee?

The process of roasting is crucial to coffee. If you under roast your coffee your coffee turns out weak, and if you over do it your coffee tastes burnt. Make sure the coffee is freshly roasted. The freshness of coffee beans will start to decrease once the coffee beans have been ground.
When brewing gourmet coffee, it is essential to combine several factors that will make your cup of coffee a dreamy blend of flavor. Gourmet coffee is in itself delicious, but it is even better when made a certain way.
Select only the finest gourmet coffee beans.

Opt for bottled waters for brewing but avoid distilled water.
Be sure to measure your coffee/water ratio appropriately. Use two tablespoons of ground coffee per six ounces of water (or 3/4 cup water). This ratio produces strong, rich gourmet coffee.

Some have compared specialty gourmet coffee to wine as far as aromas and flavors go. The characteristics of gourmet coffee however, are more even complex than wine.

Gourmet coffee flavors include : almond, amaretto, Irish creme, French vanilla, Swiss mocha, vanilla, chocolate, mint, peppermint, pumpkin spice and just about anything else you can dream of.

Creativity is the key to a good gourmet coffee. One does not have to go to Gourmet coffee parlors or buy expensive mix, just let your imagination go wild and make your own cup of delight.

Coffee does not have to be mealtime related. Try these for refreshing cool drinks any time of the day…

Hot gourmet coffee should be just warm enough so that the flavors melt and spread evenly on your taste buds. So take your first sip, enjoy the aroma that the perfect marriage of warmth and liquors provide, take another sip and savor the experience.

1. Mint Cocoa Coffee

1 0unce of chocolate mint liqueur

Dash of shaved chocolate

Whipping cream (if desired)

Regular coffee

Method:

Brew your regular coffee, add the shot of liqueur. Add some whipping cream if desired and sprinkle with shaved chocolate.

Enjoy the delicate aroma and taste.

2. Cafe Amor

1 oz. Cognac

1 oz. Amaretto

5oz. hot fresh coffee

One dollop unsweetened whipped cream

Method:

Pour liquids into a heated mug. Top with whipped cream. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Let the flavors melt in your mouth.

3. Spirited Coconut Coffee

1oz. Irish whiskey

1/4 oz. cream of coconut

6 oz. hot coffee

Whipped cream

Method:

Combine everything except the cream in a heated mug or tempered coffee
glass. Top up with dollop of whipped cream.

Pull the blinds and relax in your favorite chair. Sip the magic slowly.

4. Orange Cinnamon Delight

Ingredients:

One medium orange

Seven whole cloves

2 cups milk

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 tsp rum extract

2 inches of cinnamon stick

2 cups coffee

Method:

Peal the orange and set aside and squeeze the juice; add water, if necessary, to make 1/3 cup.

For making the spice bag, place orange peel, cinnamon, and cloves in a double layer square piece of 100% cotton cheesecloth. Bring up corners; tie with a string.

In a large saucepan, combine orange juice, spice bag, water, milk, brown sugar, cocoa powder. Bring them to boil and remove from heat. Cover and let it stand for 10 minutes.

Remove spice bag. Stir in rum extract. Divide equally between 4 8-ounce cups of coffee.

This is an awesome blend of fruity flavor, heady rum and intoxicating coffee. A must try for all the coffee lovers.

Now that you have some of the tried and tested recipes from my creative kitchen, go on and indulge your self. Call friends over, have a great time.

this is an old post. will try to put some pix soon

Recipes: Gourmet Coffee


Recipes: Gourmet Coffee
What is Gourmet Coffee? Hoe does one make a good Gourmet Coffee at home? Want some recipes? To get the answers to all these questions read on this article. A treat for all coffee lovers.
http://www.associatedcontent.comarticle/1651671/recipes_gourmet_coffee.html

Drink Recipes : Creative Cocktails


Let us have some fun with cocktails. One can do wonders with mixing the right ingredients in right proportions. enjoy these awesome recipes from my bar.

See more at http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1595991/drink_recipes_creative_cocktails.html