Friday, August 4, 2017

Cherry Iced Tea



It is sweltering hot here. Summer tends to be like that here. Sometimes I wonder if we especially feel it more because we don't have hot weather all year long! We wait for summer eagerly and then we are too hot! We are always looking for ways to cool down, which ends up being something cold to drink. I often feel that people end up drinking calories without even realizing it! All the store-bought or prepackaged drinks are laden with sugar and fat! I look for healthier, low calorie drinks to keep my family and myself cool. That's why I prefer to make the cooling beverages at home. Of course, water is the best way to stay hydrated, but sometimes, people want more than just water.





 I personally drink more of water than anything else! For those other times, I make varieties of lassi, smoothie, lemonade, daiquiri etc. This summer, I seem to be in the mood for iced tea! I have been making a lot of fruity iced teas! For some reason, I used to think making fruity iced tea was a chore! But believe it or not, it actually isn't quite so time-consuming and is quite easy! The only time consuming part is making the fruit syrup. The rest is a breeze. My way of combating this issue is by making the syrup when I am cooking other stuff in the kitchen or doing chores in the kitchen. You can make the syrup and keep it handy in the refrigerator to make the tea anytime you wish! The inspiration for my recipe is this recipe that I came across..





Make this tea and keep it in the refrigerator. You and your guests will both be happy!




Servings: 6-8


Prep time: 10 minsCook time: 30 minsTotal time: 40 mins


Ingredients:


For the syrup:
Cherries: 2 cups, pitted
Sugar: 2 cups
Water: 4 cups
Lemon zest: from 1 small lemon  ( optional)

For the tea:
Tea bags: 3-4 ( I used Lipton teabags)
Water: 500ml ( may need more for the pitcher).
Mint leaves: for garnish, 1-2 leaves per glass ( optional)
Ice cubes: 2 trays ( may need more depending on the size of the ice)


Method:


For the syrup:


Take the pitted cherries, sugar, lemon zest and water in a saucepan. Bring this to a boil. Reduce the flame and cook it for 15-20 mins or until the cherries have softened. Using a potato masher, mash the cherries as much as possible. Continue boiling for another 10-15 mins mashing the cherries in between.

Now strain it using a strainer. Let it cool. Pour the strained syrup into a pitcher or in a jar if you plan to make the tea at a later time.

For the tea:

While the syrup is cooking, you can prepare the tea. To do this, boil 500 ml water in a pot. Once the water comes to boil, add 3-4 tea bags depending on how strong you want your tea. Let it steep for 4-5 mins. Turn off the flame. Cover and keep aside to cool down with the tea bags in it.

Serving the tea:

Add both the tea and the syrup into the serving pitcher. Add 1 tray of ice to it. Garnish with mint leaves. Check for the sweetness. You can add sugar /honey /sweetener if you wish for more sweetness.

Take serving glasses, fill it with ice cubes until half-way. Pour the tea on top of the ice cubes to fill it the rest of the way.




Serve!



Enjoy! I am bringing this to  my dear friend Angie's Fiesta Friday#183. If you haven't been to her fiestas, you are truly missing something!! Her 
cohosts this week are Sarah @ Sarah’s Little Kitchen and Shinta @ Caramel Tinted Life.


Cooking made easy:


You can double the ingredients and make a bigger batch of syrup and keep it in the refrigerator. It stays good for 7-10 days.
The tea when made stays fresh for 3-4 days.

Tip for healthy living:


Homemade beverages are much better than store-bought ones as not only the amount of sugar in them can be controlled but there are no additives/preservatives in them.

Food for thought:

When mind is weak, the situation is a problem; when mind is balanced, the situation is a challenge and when the mind is strong, the situation is an opportunity. Unknown