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.

13 comments:

  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.

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  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!

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  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!)

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  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!

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  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.

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  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...

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  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. :)

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

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  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.

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

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

    Love.

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  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!

    http://lizzygoesdutch.blogspot.com/2010/04/sunshine-award.html

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