Pouring yourself a refreshing glass of chilled iced tea on warm evenings is such an inviting treat. Tall tumblers filled with this concoction containing lime juice, freshly brewed black tea and sugar syrup are welcoming quenchers to beat the rising summer heat. The drink is often served at high tea too, to do away with hot beverages difficult to consume during summers. While contemporary spins on the classic high tea have introduced numerous flavourful infusions like peach, basil and mint into the mocktail, the addition of lemon to iced tea has endured as a favourite, for its zesty and tangy notes.
The habit of preparing iced tea to serve in the afternoons or as a refreshment when guests come over has a long history. A cold tea is said to have been popularised in 20th century America when an English tea merchant found it difficult to serve warm tea during hot weather at the St. Louis World Fair. So, he decided to add a bit of ice to the beverage and serve it cold instead.
Other culinary histories trace the evolution of iced tea to the early 19th century where references to sipping on the cooling drink can be found in letters written by aristocratic classes and in European cookbooks. Eventually, the soother garnered wide popularity in the American south where it is continued to be enjoyed as a cooling and refreshing beverage through the year.
Iced tea is now available in packaged bottles too, but brewing a cooling pitcher of the drink is rather easy too. The recipe often involves brewing warm black or green tea and adding freshly squeezed lemon juice or lemon wedges along with generous helpings of sugar syrup to concoct a revitalising drink. Lemon and tea are a classic pairing, its tang oozes into the bitter tea giving it a slightly elevated texture.
A pro tip while making iced tea is to be utterly generous with ice cubes which act as the cooling agent to chill the beverage and make it all the more refreshing. While adding ice, make sure you keep tasting the mix and adjust the amount of tea so it doesn’t become too weak once the ice melts in the pitcher.
Combine all the ingredients in a tall glass.
Add lots of ice and stir well.
Garnish it with a lime wedge.