Happy Labor Day weekend!
One of my most favorite drinks is Iced Tea. Being as my parents are from Oklahoma iced tea was a staple in my house growing up. There was never a time where we didn't have iced tea made. I remember mom used to save the glass jars that our orange juice came in and we would line them up 4 at a time to pour our brewed ice tea in.
There are several methods to making brewed iced tea. My mom came from the school that took a small amount of water and boiled it, adding loose leaf black tea to it and let it steep to make a concentrate. Then it was divided among the jars and more water was added to finish the process. You can tell the strength of the tea that way by the color of the tea.
I still make tea that way but I use tea bags instead of loose tea. It's just easier, and you don't have to strain the tea.
What tea to use? There are many types of tea out there. We use a black tea. I grew up on Lipton tea, so that's what I like, and still use. It makes a nice strong black tea. A lot of southerners swear by Lusianne Tea, but I never cared for it being a Lipton girl! Use what you prefer, that's what counts! I even experiment with peach teas or other fruit infused teas, and they work well, but black tea is the standard.
Sweetened or un-sweetened? I make mine un-sweetened. That way I can add Splenda to it if I like or leave it plain. You can add a simple syrup to your finished tea all at once or by the glass as you please. There are no strict rules! This is YOUR tea, do as you please.
Storing iced tea: This is important. If you don't want cloudy tea you must allow your finished tea to cool to room temperature before putting it in the refrigerator. Otherwise your tea will turn cloudy. I usually leave mine out for an hour or so before storing it.
This tea is a variation of the traditional iced tea. A very refreshing Orange Iced Tea.
Great for these hot days, but great anytime.
The only thing that you do to make orange iced tea is to place some orange slices in your pitcher of tea and muddle a couple of slices in the bottom with the handle end of a wooden spoon.
Then place more orange slices in the pitcher and each glass to add subtle flavor and garnish. Beautiful and tasty!
Hope you will try my Orange Iced Tea. It's truly refreshing and tastes great!
Orange Iced Tea
Makes 1/2 gallon
1 cup boiling water
3 regular sized tea bags
7 cups of water
1 orange, cut in to slices
Boil one cup of water on the stove or microwave. Add tea bags and let them steep for about 15 min. You want to get a dark concentrate. The darker the concentrate the more tea you will end up with. Pour your concentrate in to a 1/2 gallon jug or pitcher and add approx 7 cups of water. You can tell the strength of the tea by the color. Very light colored tea is a more weak tea. Dark will be strong. Adjust your tea strength to your liking by adding more water, or more concentrate.
Add ice to your glasses and pour tea over. If you add ice to your container with the tea, it will dilute it.
Add 2 orange slices to the container. Take the handle end of a wooden spoon and muddle the orange slices on the bottom of the container to release the orange juices. Add more slices to the tea for flavor. Add an orange slice to the individual glasses as well for garnish.