For the past couple of summers now I have brewed my own iced tea and have been very happy with the results. I like it better than the powdered Lipton iced tea mix I always used to buy. I usually make this on the weekends when I’m home for a longer stretch of time because the teabags do need to steep in the boiled water for at least an hour.
I always have these ingredients on hand and that, by the way, is why I love the “make your own” type of recipes. Even though the powdered mixes were designed to be convenient, I think that true convenience is being able to look at your pantry staples and know how to combine them into a variety of different things and thereby skipping the need to run out to the store for the supposedly convenient premixed stuff.
Here’s the recipe for making your own iced tea:
2 quarts water
3 tea bags
3/4 cup sugar (or artificial sweetener such as Splenda)
3 oz bottled lemon juice (which is 1/3 cup plus a smidge more)
Boil the 2 quarts of water in a tea kettle and then remove from the heat. Add the 3 tea bags to the water and let steep for at least an hour. Remove the tea bags, add the lemon juice and sugar to the tea, and chill.
I usually fill my plastic 2 quart pitcher with water to measure out the right amount of water. Then I pour that water into my tea kettle, put it on the stove burner, and bring it to a boil. Once the tea kettle is whistling, I take it off the stove and set it on a hot pad on the counter. I have a tea kettle with a removable top so I am able to stick the tea bags right into the kettle to let it steep. I usually let it sit there for an hour or two. My experience has been that it can’t really sit there too long. Then I throw away the tea bags and pour the tea from the kettle back into my plastic 2 quart pitcher, add the lemon juice and sugar, and then put it in the refrigerator.
I had seen a recipe for flavored ice teas that basically used the same recipe as above, but were then adding a little bit of orange extract or strawberry extract for different flavorings. I tried this and it did not turn out well. The little bit of extract just got lost in 2 quarts of tea. Maybe someday I’ll try substituting the 3 oz of lemon juice for 3 oz of some other fruit juice (peach juice maybe?) and see how that turns out.