Let's talk about the real star of the show when it comes to iced tea.
Although often underwhelming, the ice plays an important role... It's why I love grabbing iced tea to-go from Green Sage Café here in Asheville (crushed ice perfection). It's why I monitor the amount of ice used so the tea isn't watered down or (GASP) not cold enough. And now I'm ready to upgrade my ice to fancy up my usual morning tea.
I'm looking at these gorgeous, fancy ice balls and cubes as an easy way to infuse your tea. Hear me out...
You will need ice trays that create oversized ice cubes or balls, these are often used for alcoholic drinks. Fill 1/4 of the way up with filtered water. Add in your favorite herbs such as mint, basil, rosemary, lavender. When adding herbs, put a lot! A small sprig won't cut it. Fill up with water to 3/4 full.
Ice will form over night then gently remove from the tray. Plop ice in your favorite glass/jar/mug/pitcher. Pour tea over (pick your favorite variety for an herbal infusion) and let sit over ice for an hour. A tea brewed a bit stronger works well here.
Once an hour has passed, the herbs have sunk their teeth into your tea and it's time to enjoy! So refreshing.
Got a sunny day coming up? Let's make some good ol' fashioned sun tea. It is summer, after all.
How does sun tea work exactly?
Tea will release flavors into any water, warm or cool. Hot water simply speeds up the process. So you're just taking the long road to a delicious pitcher of tea and avoiding turning on your stove on a hot day.
Fill a clear glass pitcher or dispenser with filtered water. Add 7-9 tea bags per gallon of water. I'm a fan of black tea, the flavors evolve nicely in the sun and you can add just about anything to it.
Set your pitcher out in the sun, unsweetened, for 2-3 hours of direct light.
Adjust the amount of tea bags added based on how strong you like your tea. Adjust the amount of time you leave in sun based on how dark you like your tea (and the strength of the sun).
Bring your pitcher indoors and sweeten as you like. I'd start with 1/8 cup of sugar/honey/agave because I'm conservative with how sweet I take my drinks. In fact, I drink my tea unsweetened but I know it's the south! Lemons or mint are also tasty additions.
From what I hear, sun tea won't last long so drink up with friends on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Summer in the south means plenty of iced tea. Non-negotiable.
The key is adding variety to your recipes.
We're kicking off the August Summer Series with iced green minty tea. Each week of August I'll share a favorite iced tea. Stay tuned for summertime favorites to sip on the porch while the weather swelters.
The days are reaching 90 degrees way too often here in Asheville! We are lucky to enjoy 60-70s in the mornings and evenings but right around 4pm, you need nothing more than a cool beverage. When water or booze isn't in the cards, iced tea is.
Our first iced tea is a healthy gem for any tea lover. The touch of mint turns green tea into a favorite go-to.
Making tea for just you or a brewing for a few? [Rhyming!] This recipe is easy to cut down or multiply.
Recipe for 2-4:
Bring 3 cups of water to a boil.
Remove from heat and add 3 or 4 of your favorite green tea bags to steep.
Throw in 4 sprigs (20 leaves or so) of mint into the water.
Let it all steep for about 10-12 minutes.
Ok, now strain out the mint and remove tea bags.
Let tea cool to room temperature before pouring over ice or refrigerating.
When it's time to drink, use extra ice and top with a sprig of mint! I avoid throwing mint leaves in my drinking glass unless I'm using a straw.
This one is easy guys. Grab your favorite ice cream, see mine above!
I was craving popsicles likes none other this month and so happy to share these! My sister gifted the molds to me (easy find at TJ MAxx or BB&B), delicious strawberries are in season and Philip whipped up a beautifully simple recipe!
Plus it's the first day of summer? Perfect.
Happy summer to you all!
It starts with a strawberry. Smack in the middle of strawberry season.
I'm always drawn more to a fruit-filled dessert than a chocolatey one and strawberry shortcake is no exception.
It's simple to make at home which is wonderful since I've yet to experience any phenomenal restaurant versions.
Join me each week this June to indulge in favorite summer sweets, most will be southern and locally inspired.
Recipe by Philip Bollhoefer...
The biscuits (yields 12):
Cake flour 2cup
All purpose flour 2cup
Kosher salt 1tbsp
Baking powder 1tbsp
Baking soda 1tsp
Butter (cold) 2 sticks cut into 1/4inch cubes
Sift dry ingredients together. Mix sifted dry ingredients and butter. In 4 batches, pulse the butter flour mixture in food processor until butter is the size of small peas.
Transfer butter and flour mixture into a large mixing bowl and create a well in the middle. Using your hands combine buttermilk until incorporated. DO NOT OVER MIX. The dough should just come together and look ragged.
On a floured work surface roll dough out and fold over itself. Repeat 3 times. Once layers have been formed roll dough out approximately 1 inch thick. Cut into 2.5" rings.
Brush tops of biscuits with buttermilk. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes/until lightly browned.
Quartered strawberries 2cups
Sugar in the raw 2tbsp
Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur 1tbsp
Lemon juice 1tsp
Mix all ingredients together. Let strawberry mixture sit overnight or at least while biscuits bake.
Let biscuits cool then open them up. Scoop vanilla ice cream and place on bottom half of biscuits and top with strawberries and garnish with powdered sugar.
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