In summer I love to drink buckets of ice tea to break the monotony of all the water. I also attempt to avoid sugar in beverages, so by making my own ice tea, I control this. It also makes it so affordable and so very, very tasty.

This combination of flavours is one which friend of mine Laurence introduced me to, and it works out perfectly.

All you do is brew a strong jug of tea and then keep this in the fridge after its cooled. You then pour it over a glass filled with ice to dilute it and cool it down even further.

Oh and for the benefit of those in countries outside of South Africa who may not be aware of our wonderful Rooibos / Redbush tea, its a tea that has its origin in South Africa, and in the Western Cape to be precise (that’s where I live). Its packed with antioxidants and is 100% caffeine free, so its a herbal tea that can be consumed in a similar way to black tea.

I love to make iced tea using Rooibos / Redbush tea rather than black tea which I find quite bitter, but you can use whatever tea you prefer. I sometimes blend in about 25% green tea with the Rooibos, which then just ratchets up the health properties a notch, and I have totally acquired the taste for it.

To make a liter of strong iced tea.

  • 4 Rooibos tea bags / liter of water
  • about 5 cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely sliced
  • peel from 1 lemon
  • small handful of mint leaves
  • 2 T of honey (or sweetener of your choice, I also like to use artificial sweetener)
  • juice of one lemon
  • extra slices of lemon and mint to serve (optional)

Fill a heat proof jug with boiling water and add the tea bags. While it is hot, add all the ingredients except the lemon juice and hte honey, and allow it to infuse. I normally leave it in until the water is luke warm and then I remove the tea bags. Stir through the honey and add the lemon juice. Store in the fridge until you are ready to use it.

If you leave the mint, lemon rind and ginger in the tea, the flavour will strengthen. If you want to keep it quite mild, strain it out when you remove the tea bags. Either way works well. You can also muddle the aromatics slightly in the tea, bruising the ginger, mint and lemon, to further release their delicious oils.

Nothing quite beats a refreshing glass of icy cold iced tea in summer.

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