The perfect beverage for hot summer days is none other than iced tea. It is quite simple to make it, just add plenty of ice in a glass with already chilled tea. The greatest part about it is that it comes in all of your favorite flavors. Some of the most common ones include citrus, blueberry, peach, orange, strawberry, and watermelon. Having plenty of different ones to choose from means that you can also mix them to make them even more refreshing, like combining citrus and ginkgo which are both healthy and delicious.
Iced tea has been a favorite in many counties due to its antioxidant, low-calorie, and hydrating properties. The beauty of freshly brewed iced tea, mixed with different flavors is something you must try, especially on hot summer days. It is the perfect refreshing summer cocktail, but remains healthy and will definitely satiate your thirst.
Iced tea around the world
One of the places where people drink a lot of iced tea is the US. During the 1870s it spread worldwide, with recipes appearing in prints, popping up on sale at railroad stations, and was also offered on hotel menus. The popularity of iced tea quickly grew after Richard Blechynden introduced it at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. Now, it is said that it takes up to 85% of all tea consumed and is an alternative to soft drinks. It is an especially characteristic beverage in the American South.
There are plenty of other countries with their own cultural variations of iced tea. Another great country to mention is Japan. It is believed to be one of the most important iced tea markets in the world. Due to their extremely humid summer period, people usually cool down with iced tea, generally in green or oolong tea flavor. These drinks are most often unsweetened and unflavored.
Varieties of iced tea
If you want to experiment with your iced tea choices, then it’s good to know that there are a couple of varieties in terms of preparation, the brewing method, and flavoring. The most common are:
- Sweet iced tea – this is basically sweetened black tea, served without milk and nicely chilled. You can sweeten it up by adding syrup or sugar while it is brewing. This type is usually flavored with peach or lemon, but you can also find it with raspberry and mint flavor.
- Half and a half – this is famous because it’s an invention of the golfer Arnold Palmer, and it is a non-alcoholic combination of iced tea and lemonade. This can also refer to a mix of unsweetened tea and sweetened one.
- Bottles or canned iced tea – this is the one with longer shelf life, meaning you can store it not opened up to their expiry date. These are a huge deal everywhere in the world because you don’t have to bother making iced tea, you can just easily buy one and enjoy it right away. Usually, it contains citric acid for flavor, but there are surely places that sell a more healthy variation such as unsweetened iced tea.
Health benefits of iced tea
Iced tea is not just a tasty and refreshing summer beverage but it also has a lot of health benefits. It is rich in manganese which is good for healing wounds, boosting our metabolism, and strengthening our bones. Iced tea can also burn more calories! If unsweetened it may actually burn more calories than hot tea.
Another great benefit is that it can be a great pick-me-up. Instead of using energy drinks that are extremely unhealthy, try iced tea. Healthy, refreshing, and delicious iced tea has caffeine which will stimulate your nervous system.
There are many more benefits from iced tea, but the last one we will mention is the one that’s most important when there are children involved. If you want to avoid giving your child an unhealthy and sugary drink, try the alternative – iced tea! It does not contain harmful chemicals, artificial sweeteners and it is definitely healthier for the body in the long run.
How to serve it
Iced tea is a drink that can be consumed with food, but you should pay attention and choose your parings wisely, just as you would with beer and wine. Make sure to make it much stronger, because once it is chilled with ice, the ice will weaken the taste. Also, pay attention when you sweeten it while still hot, you need to put less sugar in it than when you sweeten it cold.
There are numerous iced tea recipes that include fruits, vegetables, and herbs. From a spicy lemon-ginger beverage or cucumber mint green tea, you will enjoy every sip you take. Both refreshing and healthy, mixing them up, it is the perfect summer flavored drink.
There are a couple of ways to drink iced tea in summer, and while some people sweeten it with syrup or sugar, others add fruit. Of course, there are always those who prefer their iced tea a little boozy. Whichever way you choose, you will feel refreshed and energized during the hot summer days and evenings. Remember that freshly brewed iced tea with lemon, cucumbers, and mint is much healthier than the one from a plastic bottle, and most importantly, never forget to serve iced tea with plenty of ice!