Friday, April 16, 2010

Iced Tea

I fear that I may have a bit of an iced tea addiction. My iced tea habit started off innocently enough; every other day or so I would grab one to go at lunchtime to take back with me to the office. Soon it became every day, and now, well now it’s a problem. Because now it’s a mug of hot tea in the morning at work, my after lunch iced tea, and possibly another glass or two from the pitcher that I brew at home.
But I can’t help it. There is just something so satisfying and refreshing about a tall glass of iced tea on a sunny afternoon. Especially when that sunny afternoon is spent in the office in front of a computer and the iced tea is all I have to keep me going. To answer your question, yes, I do feel a little silly talking about iced tea. But on Fridays were talking about stuff we love, and I just really happen to love iced tea. I like it in all variations; black or green, unsweetened or southern style sweet tea so sweet it will make your teeth hurt, home-brewed or from a powder, you name it and I’ll drink it. Currently I prefer it black, unsweetened, with lemon.
There’s a few different spots I frequent in St. Helena to get my fix. On days I can find a parking spot I’ll go to Model Bakery where they have a tropical tea that I really enjoy; if there’s no where to park I’ll continue on to Dean & Deluca where they have the best ice (shaved). But I don’t particularly enjoy spending just under 3 bucks a pop for some tea, and ever since I realized how easy it is to make at home, it seems there is always a pitcher of it hanging out in the fridge. Right now my favorite tea to use is this one:
I gotta admit I first picked out this particular tea because I thought the tin was so pretty. But I happen to love teas with a bit of fruit flavor to them, and this one has an awesome frutiness to it. With other teas I usually add a bit of lemon and some honey, but this one doesn’t need it. It’s good all on its lonesome.

If we’re talking bout tea, then I got to mention another favorite iced tea incarnation: Sweet Tea Vodka. I first heard about the stuff last summer while visiting family friends in Washington. We went out to dinner and I tried a cocktail which consisted of lemonade and sweet tea vodka, basically a spiked version of an Arnold Palmer.
One sip and I was hooked. This is a super easy cocktail, which just happens to be my favorite kind of cocktail, and can be made in a large batch if you’re having a lot of guests. It may be just vodka and lemonade, but it’s made extra special by using freshly squeezed lemonade and sweet tea vodka. The supermarket near me sells 3 different brands of sweet tea vodka, but I like this one best:
This stuff is dangerous because it tastes so good you'll swear your just drinking a big ol' glass of sweet tea. Mix it with lemonade and you've got a dangerously delicious mixture. I love this cocktail because it's homey, and it's especially cute served in mason jars with some sprigs of mint and lemon.
Ok, so now you know what drink I can't live without - what's your refreshing drink of choice?
Fresh Squeezed Lemonade
1 1/2 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups water

Stir lemon juice, sugar and water together in a large pitcher. Taste, and add more sugar if necessary.

Boozy Arnold Palmer
1 cup sweet tea vodka
3 cups fresh squeezed lemonade
Mint and lemon slices for garnish

Mix vodka and lemonade together in a pitcher, serve over ice. Garnish with mint and lemon slices.


  1. When I'm not pumping my arteries full of Starbucks frappuccino, I enjoy a venti iced green tea with half the sweetner (3 pumps I believe... scary). I'm also very refreshed by the gross-out runner's cocktail of half gatorade half cold water.

  2. The Corner Bakery Cafe has a black currant iced tea that is possibly my favorite drink on earth. It's unsweetened (I don't really like sweet tea) but the curant flavor has a little natural sweetness that's really nice.

    That sweet tea vodka is DANGEROUS!

  3. oh my goodness! firefly is so addictive! i'm from NC, so it wasn't out in Chicago until way after it was sold in the south. we actually bought a big ol' jug of it in NC the first year it came out (we happened to drive home that year instead of flying) and we went through that real quick-like! great post (i'm officially adding you to my rss because of this one! ha!)

  4. My sister loves fresh squeezed lemonade. I'll share the recipe with her! My fav drink for warm days is water but instead of adding ice, I add frozen berries or pineapple. It's easy and refreshing!

  5. I'm loving iced tea right now. I cold brew it overnight in the fridge (just put 5 bags into my glass pitcher with a top and fill with cold water) I like either mint or Tazo white tea and cucumber. .. I sweeten it with Stevia. I'm also ridiculously into flavored stevia in soda water. . . we got a soda stream for christmas. I am so putting vodka in my tea now - that just never ever occured to me. Love the idea. Also - Everything is better in a Mason jar. Everything.

  6. @teresacooks I covet the soda stream! I'm not a big soda drinker, but homemade soda is a whole different story. It's at the top of my wish list for kitchen doo dads. Sorry for the tangent...

  7. Wait, what is this soda stream? It sounds...amazing.

    And yes, I agree that everything is better in mason jars. Especially when it involves vodka. :)

  8. I'm making iced tea today. I may or may not add all sorts of alcohol to it

  9. I'm addicted to iced tea, I make it at home all the time (currently decaf b/c I'm pregnant). I never add sugar, just black tea with lemon. Recently I've been on a lemonade kick too. I'm going to try your recipe later, I have one but it calls for more lemon juice.

  10. I confess, I too, am an iced tea addict!

  11. My coworker has got me totally addicted to 32oz tropical passion iced teas from Coffee Bean.


  12. I'm from Texas, so you can imagine how I feel about iced tea. This post made me so happy! I've passed a blog award on to you girls. Here's the link :-) Cheers!


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