We are having some warm days here in Southern California. I am not happy about it either. I much prefer cooler weather. But when it’s hot like this, there is nothing that I like better than iced tea. A big glass of it, with lots of ice. Come to think of it, I love iced tea anytime…..cold weather, hot weather, I love the stuff. I usually don’t like flavored teas though. But I love orange iced tea. Have you ever tried it? No? Well, I highly recommend it. It’s refreshing and you get the sweetness of the orange, so you don’t even have to add any sweetener to it. But if you like your tea sweet, you can make some orange simple syrup. Holy moly it’s good stuff.
So, summer is here, it’s getting hot and iced tea is the perfect summer time thirst quencher. You will be making pitcher after pitcher of this stuff.
Orange Iced Tea
8 cups of good drinking water
3 large cold brew tea bags
1 large orange
Fill a large pitcher or jar with the water. Add the tea bags and allow to steep for a couple of hours. **
Slice the orange into thin slices and plop them into your tea. With a wooden spoon, just give the orange slices a bit of a smash to release the juices. Chill the tea for at least a couple of hours, so the flavors of the tea and the orange come together. Pour over ice and enjoy. If you like your tea really sweet, add some orange simple syrup. (recipe below)
** If you don’t have cold brew tea bags, you can use 6 regular tea bags and let the tea steep in 8 cups of hot water until the tea is as strong as you like it. Then add your orange slices.
Orange Simple Syrup
Simple syrup is a mixture of 1 part liquid to 1 part sugar. It’s heated until the sugar is all dissolved. It’s used to sweeten drinks instead of sugar, since there are no gritty sugar granules in your drink. You can add all kinds of flavorings to them. (fruit zest, vanilla, chile peppers, cinnamon, etc)
2 cups of water, or 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice and 1 cup water
2 cups of sugar
zest of 1 orange
In a medium sized sauce pan, add the water, orange juice, orange zest and sugar. Heat just long enough for the sugar to dissolve. Allow to sit out and come to room temperature. Pour it through a strainer, into a container. If you don’t mind the bits of zest, you don’t have to pour it through a strainer. Keep refrigerated. Use it to sweeten your iced tea and many other beverages.