The weather is nice and oddly we've been eating a lot of hot dogs for dinner. Hot dogs and coleslaw. The weather is nice and we've been busy running around like crazy lately. Something about this Chicago weather right now makes hot dogs sound like a good idea.
When I do get some free time, I'm going to make another batch of this peach tea sparkler and sit outside reading the latest cooking magazine. Ok, most likely I'll be reading the issues from 6 months ago (I'm a little behind) but it will be fantastic. I'm looking forward to this day. I wonder when I'll be able to fit it in.
Iced tea is one of my summertime favorites. I'm a sucker for peach iced tea. I'm also a sucker for all things sparkly. Bubbly sparkly, not shiny sparkly. Who am I kidding, I love shiny sparkly too but were talking about bubbly things right now. Peach tea sparkler. I said it. It's everything you love about a subtly sweet peach iced tea with little bubbles that tickle your tongue and scream IT'S SUMMER! Little things, like bubbles, make me happy.
This recipe is just a guideline. I like my tea STRONG. I also like it subtly sweet, not hit you in the mouth sweet. Peaches are my favorite tea combination but lots of other tea/fruit/herb combo's would be just as nice. Improv suggestions below!
Happy, almost, weekend!
peach tea sparkler
yields 4 servings
3 black tea bags (I used Tazo Awake)
2 c. water
2 fresh peaches, sliced
2 T. agave nectar
4 c. sparkling water
In a medium sized pot, bring your water to a boil. dump in your tea bags and steep for 5 minutes. yes, you have to wait the whole time. you're making a tea concentrate and you want it to fully brew. if you add in anything (sugar, flavor, etc…) at this point, it will disrupt the steeping process. once you have a nice dark brew, remove your tea bags and add your sliced peaches. Return to a gentle simmer and cook for another 5 minutes. You want the peaches to release their juices into the mixture. Remove from heat and add as much or as little sweetener (in this case agave) to the pot. It will taste strong but remember, you're topping it with sparkling water which dilutes it, a lot. Let it sit for 15 more minutes off the heat. Then strain and let the mixture cool in the refrigerator (about an hour). Pour about ¼ c. of the tea mixture over ice and top with about 1 c. of sparkling water. Give it a stir and adjust to taste. If you don't have the patience to let it cool, just pour it over some ice and use a little less sparkling water. Instant gratification.
fresh peaches might not be available where you are yet. it's technically not their season, yet. if that's the case for you, you can use frozen peaches. not down with peach? blackberry, raspberry, blueberry, lemon - you see where i'm going here. use your favorite flavor combination.
this would also be great with other types of tea. i like the taste of black and the jolt it gives me but green tea, white tea, or even herbal tea would be just as tasty. if you're going for light and refreshing consider doing lime juice with some fresh mint leaves and green tea. or blackberry black tea with lime sparkling water. so many options, these would be my alts.
on to sweeteners... i like using truvia on most days (it's a stevia based natural low-cal sweetener) but when i'm splurging, i do agave nectar. honey, white sugar, sugar in the raw... however you prefer to sweeten will work just fine here. add as much or as little as you prefer.
what's your favorite iced tea sparkler flavor?