Monday, July 12, 2010

Ice Tea and Lemonade

phosphoric acid benzdate potassium sorbate EDTA

It is a hot, hot, hot day, so I made home made iced tea and lemonade. I can hear everyone groan, but really, it is hardly harder than mixing up a pitcher of Crystal Lite, Kool-Aide or any other number of commercial drinks. Above are some of the chemicals that you will avoid.

First - you will need two separate pitchers that hold a half gallon

Ingredients: tea (decaffeinated, caffeinated or both), water, sugar (honey, no artificial unless you are diabetic or hypoglycemic), lemon juice (check the bottle, I was appalled to learn that mine had Benzate in it. I won't be buying it again)

For lemonade, I mix a third of a cup of lemon juice to a scant third of a cup of sugar in the bottom of the pitcher until the sugar is dissolved. Then fill the pitcher with water and mix again. Taste it. You might like yours more tart or sweeter, so you have to adjust your measurements. Refrigerate, serve in a glass with ice, if you like. And feel virtuous thinking of all the chemicals and packaging that you have avoided.

Iced Tea - In a large tea pot, (holds about a quart) put in five tea bags and pour boiling hot water over the bags. Let steep about a half an hour. Later, you can get creative about what you brew, but for now, keep it simple with black tea, caffeinateted or decaffeinated. Pour the tea into the bottom of the pitcher and add a scant third cup of sugar and a scant third cup of lemon juice (if desired) to the tea, and mix until the sugar is dissolved. Then add ice cubes to the tea mixture up to the brim. When tea is cooled, serve.

The fun thing with ice tea is that you can make your own brew. Try green tea. Try replacing one of the black tea bags with a lemon balm tea bag. Add a mint tea bag. Replace all the black tea bags with lemon balm tea and one peppermint tea bag.

Finish by feeling virtuous about all the chemicals you have avoided, the extra packaging that you have avoided and making something from scratch!


sherri said...

I LOVE mixing black tea and lemonade! It is such a refreshing drink. I make mine very similar to your recipe except that I use Splenda and no honey....Very tasty indeed!

Sunny Day said...

Have forgotten how easy it is to make lemonade especially when you use bottled or frozen juice. Will have to try it tonight. I use 2 family size tea bags to make a gallon of tea. My husband likes "Georgia" tea. It is brewed for 15 minutes after putting just a little baking soda in when you put the tea bags in. The baking soda takes away the acid taste. I also just use 1/4 cup either sugar of splenda to a gallon of tea.

Mary Bennett said...

Sherri and Sunny, thank-you for your "tweaks" to my recipe. Why do we feel that making iced tea or lemonade is soo hard to do, especially when most likely, our grandparents did it all the time? The reason we think it is soo hard is all the commercials we see on the tv by the manufacturers. They want it to seem time consuming, difficult and with iffy results. Really, what is so hard about it? If it's to tart, add more sugar. If it's too weak, add more lemon juice or brew a cup of tea and add it. If it's too sweet, add more water. It is sooo simple, it is a shame that we allow ourselves to be cowed by Big Business.

Mary Bennett said...

I've experimented, and I think brewing for 15 minutes is better for ice tea, may-be even a little less. Thank-you everyone for your input!!!


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