Some days you just have to kick back. After a week of school holidays, and plenty of high energy activities, I was ready for a day with my bestie. So we enjoyed sprinklers in the garden, some very complicated game that involved every teddy bear on the planet, fish and chips for dinner and then the kids snuggled up on the sofa for an evening movie. It was bliss. And once the kids were in bed, Trudes and I demolished the most amazing wedge of blue cheese and a bottle of red wine (or two!).
Life doesn't get much better than happy activity exhausted children followed by wine and cheese with your best friend.
This morning we did an adventure walk around the children's forest, so with that and the late night, this arvo the kids were not in the mood for much, so they just played in the garden, whilst we sat chatting and drinking sweet iced lemon tea. Pure bliss. And when it comes to sitting and relaxing you can't beat our garden. I love our little piece of Western Australia. That fuzzy blue thing in the back ground is the lake!
If you are feeling a little fruity then I would add some slices of peach and maybe a strawberry or two. Or if you are feeling a little feisty then add a shot of brandy or vodka. We were not up to that today!!! We watched the sun drop low and drank these as we nibbled on some hot and spicy chicken skewers. Which explains the photos. These are straight from the garden, snapped away whilst I was chatting.
I like my iced tea strong and sweet. I know there is a joke in there about men, but I am not sure Stew would appreciate being called sweet 😉
I know that everyone is different, so the recipe is easily adaptable. We make a sugar syrup, we make tea and we mix them together. So if it is all too sweet then add more tea, if it is all too strong then add more water. The beauty of this is you can make it how you like it. And if you have super fussy friends then you can serve everything separately and let them all make up their own.
UPDATE: Trudes just text me to say "Are you calling me super fussy?!!?!?! :-P"
NO!!! Honestly hon, I wasn't. I was just saying should you have fussy friends then serve it separately. I know you will drink anything 😉 xx
I have 4 rules for making iced tea. No matter how you like your iced tea, these are rules worth following. I have my teacher voice on now!!! 😉
- Don't over steep your tea. If you like strong iced tea then use more teabags, don't just leave it for longer. Leaving it for longer gives you a bitter unpleasant tea. I know that 7 teabags seems excessive but I promise you using 7 bags is better than using less for longer and having a tea that tastes bitter and coats your mouth with a strange fur feeling.
- Don't squeeze the teabags when you remove them, again this can lead to the bitter taste.
- Make a simple sugar syrup rather than adding raw sugar. You get a better rounder sweetness and eliminate the chance of a grainy, gritty and over sweet end to your tea.
- Allow the tea to cool naturally on the counter top, before you refrigerate it. If you put it straight into the fridge everything goes cloudy. This is to do with dissolved oxygen, the science teacher in me wants to explain that a little more. But I won't 😉
Follow those rules and you are on your way to a great iced tea. Today I am sharing a lemon tea, but you can easily make this into an orange iced tea.
We are getting into warmer weather here, seriously warmer weather!!!!! I am enjoying more and more drinks on the veranda ....not more and more drinks just more and more opportunities to sit outside!!!!!
In fact we have friends coming tomorrow for a few drinks. I'll be whipping up my Strawberry and Rosemary Gin Fizz recipe. So good and so prittttttty.
I am also going to be trying out my latest finger food idea. A recipe I have come up with for a guest post I am doing soon....stay tuned, it is a grown up version of a childhood party classic 🙂
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- 250 g raw sugar
- 350 ml cold water
- 3 lemons
- 7 tea bags (the ones with strings on are best)
- 1.5 l boiling water
- pinch of baking soda (small teeny tiny pinch)
- 300 ml cold water
- lemon wedges
- Pour the sugar and water into a small saucepan.
- Use a small knife to carefully remove the rind from the lemons. You want to get just the peel and leave behind as much of the white pith as possible.
- Add this to the sugar mixture.
- Slowly bring the mixture to the boil, swirling the pan rather than stirring.
- Simmer the mixture for about 5 minutes until all of the sugar has dissolved
- Remove the syrup from the heat, pour into a small jug and allow to cool.
- Once the syrup has cooled it will keep in the fridge for at least a week.
- Take the teabags and twist the strings together so you can manoeuvre them easily.
- Place the teabags into a large jug or bowl, with the string and tabs over the edge.
- Pour over your water and swirl the teabags around once to start the steeping process.
- Leave the teabags to steep for 5 minutes then remove them. (Remember not to squeeze them)
- Add the pinch of baking soda and then start the cooling process by adding the cold water.
- Allow the tea to cool and then refrigerate until needed.
- To serve, pour the sugar syrup and iced tea into a large jug and stir gently.
- Fill your glasses with ice and serve the tea super chilled with some lemon slices.
Never knew to add some baking soda, I'll have to try that! Orange tea sounds wonderful too! (Love the pictures Claire, thanks for sharing your little piece of paradise ?)
Claire McEwen says
Just a pinch can counterbalance any bitterness from the tea.
I love it with orange and mango. Both are worth trying 🙂
Thank you Jane, I was so excited by these photos, they are a step away from my normal style but I love how they turned out x
I love iced tea! I'm obsessed with it in summer, thanks for such a lovely, refreshing recipe (interesting adding baking soda, I haven't heard about that).
Claire McEwen says
I love my iced tea, sweet and strong, but that often leads to bitterness from the tannins, so when I was given the tip by a friend in America I had to try it. The tea was so smooth, now I can't not add it 😉