Citrus and mint iced tea – a zingy, refreshing drink that will cool you down and perk you up on hot days.
While we haven’t quite reached Summer yet, it is getting tangibly close and I for one can’t wait for the sunshine and blue skies! I am a big tea drinker, as in hot black tea with milk (I am British after all), but I can’t really face hot drinks on hot days. I still need to get my caffeine fix in somehow though so that is where iced tea comes in.
I like to keep a big jug of iced tea in the fridge so that I can just pour myself a glass whenever I need a refreshing pick-me-up. It is really easy to make and will keep for at least a few days so it is definitely worth making a large batch. Iced tea lends itself well to adding extra flavours; fruits and herbs work particularly well so in this case I went for mint and citrus fruits – orange, lemon and lime.
The tea is very thirst-quenching and because it is only lightly sweetened and is full of fresh fruit juice it is not massively unhealthy. Feel free to add more sugar if you prefer sweeter tea though I find that it is more refreshing (and better for you) if it isn’t overly sweet. You can also swap the sugar for agave or stevia if you prefer.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 5 black teabags
- 6 sprigs fresh mint
- 5 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 5 cups freshly boiled water
- juice 4 oranges (and zest of 2 – optional)
- juice 1 lemon (and zest of 1 – optional)
- juice 1 lime (and zest of 1 – optional)
- 6 sprigs fresh mint, 1 orange, 1 lemon and 1 lime to serve (optional)
1.Use a vegetable peeler to strip the top layer of zest, avoiding the white pith, from two of the oranges, the lemon and the lime. (this step is totally optional, using the zest as well as the juice adds extra citrus flavour but make sure you don’t leave it to steep for too long or it can get bitter).
2.Place the zest (if using), the teabags, mint and sugar in a large jug and pour over the boiling water. Give it a stir then leave to steep for 10-15 minutes. Remove the teabags, squeezing them out to extract as much flavour as you can. Leave the mixture to cool until it is lukewarm.
3.Squeeze the juice from the oranges, lemon and lime and add it to the jug. Pour the tea through a fine mesh sieve into another jug, discarding the bits.
4.Slice an orange, a lemon and a lime. Strip the leaves from a few sprigs of mint and add them to a large jug. Fill the jug with ice and add the tea then serve. Alternatively the tea can be stored in the fridge and you can simply pour a glass as and when is needed.