Lemon Iced Tea is one of my favorite and amongst the most ordered drink when we are out at some restaurant. The very first time I had Iced tea (probably a decade ago) I was shocked to see the word Iced Tea. I imagined my typical Indian style hot tea (with milk) being chilled and getting served. Not a pleasant site to think of for tea lover. So I gave that drink a pass. My friend however happened to order it and that's how I was introduced to this drink. Loved the first sip and every since hooked onto it. So what is Iced Tea?? Basically its regular black tea water sweetened with sugar and flavored with choice of flavor.Its served chilled in a tall glass with lots and lots of ice. Tea lovers will definitely love this but I have known many non-tea lovers who like it too. Its a great summer drink and fits perfect as welcome drink for parties.
For this post I chose to flavor my Iced Tea with Lemon which is my favorite. But you could have it plain too. The amount of lemon and sugar can totally be adjusted to taste and liking. Some like their tea strong and some not so strong. Based on that, adjust the amount of tea powder and the simmering time. The more you simmer the more bitter or stronger your tea will get. Honestly, after making one at home you will start questioning the ones you get in stores/restaurants. Its that good.
Now to the Recipe...
Ingredients: (Serves 1)
Wash one lemon and grate it to get 1/4 tsp of its zest. keep aside. In a vessel bring the water to a boil and then add the tea powder and lemon zest. Give it good stir so that all is mixed well. Now let this mixture come to boil and then simmer on medium low heat for about 5 mins. The more you boil/simmer the tea the stronger/bitter it will get. So adjust the simmering time to taste.Then switch off the gas, cover and allow this tea mixture to cool.
Once its cooled off, filter it using a strainer onto another clean jug or carafe and set aside to cool further or refrigerate for a while. For serving, in a tall glass add the ice-cubes followed by a few lemon slices and mint leaves. Then add the filtered tea, lemon juice and simple syrup. Give it a good stir. Garnish the glass with a lemon slice and mint leaves.
- To make simple syrup add 1 cup of sugar to 1 cup of water in a small sauce pan and bring it to a boil. Stir occasionally. Switch off and then let it cool. Transfer in a clean container. It stays good for couple of days in refrigerator and is handy for making Iced Tea, Lemonades and Granitas.
- I personally don't prefer to make a big batch of tea as it turns bitter and even loses its flavor so I make it as required.
- If you like you tea stronger simmer for longer. Or add more 1/2 to 1 tsp of tea powder.
- Lemon and sugar content in Iced tea are totally upto an individuals taste so adjust accordingly.