For the past couple of summers now I’ve brewed my own iced tea and I LOVE it! It’s so much 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 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’m 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’ve also seen recipes for flavored iced teas that basically use the same recipe as above, but were then adding a little bit of orange extract or strawberry extract for different flavorings. When I tried this I had disappointing results. The little bit of extract just got lost in the two quarts of tea. Maybe someday I’ll try substituting the 3 ounces of lemon juice for 3 ounces of some other fruit juice (peach juice maybe?) and see how that turns out.