There always seemed to be a pitcher of iced tea in my refrigerator throughout the summers of my youth. Sweet tea, to be specific. It was a favorite of my dad’s that soon became a favorite of mine. At some point I became responsible for making the next pitcher, and over time I perfected my method (eight to 10 bags of black tea steeped in just a couple cups of hot water, adding the sugar while still hot so it dissolves and then topping with cold water to dilute). Eventually, I began experimenting with other types of tea and even unsweetened (gasp!) versions, which opened up my eyes to the wide world of iced teas and all the ways that it can quench one’s thirst on a hot day.
Check out the recipes below for a few ideas on how to do just that, or read these tips from Becky Krystal about how to make a batch of homemade iced tea just to your liking.
Passion Lemon Iced Tea, above. The real star in this recipe are the ice cubes made from passion fruit juice or sweetened lemon juice. When added to unsweetened black tea, the glass gets sweeter as the ice cubes melt.
Orange-Marigold Iced Tea, above. If you’re looking for a refreshing drink full of citrus and floral flavors, this is it. Just make sure the marigolds you use are organic and suitable for eating.
Lemongrass Iced Tea. While some confine tea to a beverage made from the leaves of the tea plant, this recipe is a great example of what happens if you broaden your definition to include other ingredients.
High Tea Cocktail. This simple recipe with applejack brandy is designed to highlight the complex characteristics that oolong tea can carry.