Summer Special – Homemade Iced Teas


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!