Iced tea is a summertime staple in my house, and in the past I've always relied on "sun tea" as my preferred method. Sun Tea is made by filling a jug with cold water and tea bags and using the sun's heat to steep it on a porch or other sunny outdoor space. But recently I've been relying more on cold-brewed teas that I can just throw in the refrigerator with the herbs I have on hand.
If you're not familiar with cold-brewing teas, it's a process that uses cold water and time to slowly draw out the flavors of the tea. As Harold McGee said in a recent New York Times Article, it's a slower, gentler process but many people like the more subtle, true flavors that come about when heat isn't used. While the below recipes aren't all necessarily written with cold-brew instructions, you can make them that way. Depending on how strong you like your tea, experiment with the timing. Generally, 8-12 hours will be the perfect steep time for a cold-brewed cup of tea. And use whatever herbs you have on hand; the recipes below have specific suggestions, but I'm finding it's hard to go too terribly wrong.
Try a Recipe:
• Mojito Iced Tea - New York Times
• Tarragon-Spiked Lady Gray Iced Tea - Epicurious
• Iced Tea With Plums and Thyme - Real Simple
• Ruby Red Rosemary Iced Tea - Better Homes and Gardens
• Refreshing Drink for Summer: Cold-Brewed Iced Tea
• Best Coffee for Hot Days: Cold-Brewed Iced Coffee
• Is it Safe to Brew and Drink Sun Tea?
(Image: Flickr member House of Sims licensed under Creative Commons)