Herbal iced teas are all the rage right now and for good reason. Not only are they healthy, but they make for the perfect summer drink and can easily be dressed up to create an impressive aperitif, no matter the occasion.
Homegrown, Rooibos tea is incredibly versatile, which makes it an ideal base for any drink. Whether your tastebuds are craving something sparkly or spicy, here are five expert tips for making flavourful and vibrant iced teas:
- Use cooled Rooibos tea as your base and make it as strong as you can by using loose-leaf tea or extra tea bags if you’re in a hurry, to extract the maximum amount of flavour. If you typically use one teaspoon of loose-leaf tea or a sachet per cup, double it up. Use a large pot and let the tea brew for at least 5-10 minutes or longer.
- Once cooled, experiment with your favourite summer fruits that will add a healthy and delicious taste to your iced tea. Try watermelon and mint or strawberries for a burst of flavour. If you prefer something more citrussy, brew the tea with a bit of lemongrass and garnish with slices of lemon or lime.
- For a sweeter drink, use lemonade or honey instead of sugar. Pomegranate juice also adds natural sweetness and will give your iced tea a vibrant colour.
- To create a spicy, yet cooling iced tea, try Rooibos chai tea and add some whole spices to make it look the part too.
- For an elegant, iced brew, add rosebuds and rose water for a subtle flavour and aroma of roses. The sky is really the limit!
For some inspiration, try these refreshing recipes:
Rooibos champagne punch
· 1 litre strong, hot Rooibos tea
· 160g white sugar (200ml) – optional
· 1 litre orange juice
· 1 litre pineapple juice
· 1 bottle (750ml) sparkling wine
· Crushed ice
· 1 orange, thinly sliced
- Dissolve sugar in Rooibos tea
- Allow to cool
- Add orange and pineapple juices and chill
- Add chilled sparkling wine and crushed ice
- Garnish with orange slices
Homemade Rooibos iced tea
This tea is very refreshing and a healthier alternative to fizzy, sugary cold drinks. Keep a jug of this iced tea in the fridge to cool off in summer.
· 8 rooibos tea bags
· 1 cinnamon stick
· 4 whole cloves
· 6 thin slices ginger
· 4 cups (1 litre) boiling water
· 4 cups (1 litre) 100 % grape, apple or berry juice, chilled
· lemon juice to taste
· ice cubes, mint leaves, fresh fruit or lemon slices to serve
- Place tea bags, spices and ginger in a large glass jug and pour over boiling water. Stir well and allow to cool for about 2 hours. Remove tea bags, ginger and spices.
- Add juice to the tea and season with lemon juice to taste.
- Serve ice cold with ice and your choice of mint leaves, fruit and lemon.
Courtesy of Cooking from the Heart.
Rooibos tea peach punch
· 500ml strong Rooibos tea, cooled
· 500ml peach juice
· at least 100ml vodka
· 1 lemon, thinly sliced
· handful fresh mint leaves
· 2 peaches, thinly sliced
- Combine all the ingredients in a large jug and stir well.
- Serve over ice.
ROOIBOS STRAWBERRY PUNCH
· 750ml strong, cold Rooibos
· 1 litre apple juice
· 1 litre granadilla/ passion fruit juice
· 1 litre strawberry juice
· 2 bottles (750m leach) of sparkling red grape juice
· 1 punnet of strawberries, sliced
· 1 orange, sliced
· Fresh mint leaves
- Mix Rooibos, apple, granadilla and strawberry juices and chill.
- Add chilled sparkling grape juice.
- Garnish with strawberries, orange and mint.
For more recipe ideas, visit www.sarooibos.co.za