41oC is HOT.
It’s this kind of weather that makes me want to reach for a glass of ice cold water, but drinking plain cold water on a hot day isn’t always the most comfortable and I’m not a big fan of fizzy drinks, no matter how chilled.
So, I’m taking a leaf from Little House in the Prairie and our Auntie G from Alabama, and making me some good ol’ fashioned American Deep South cold drinks for the fridge.
Now, most American recipes tend to be a lot sweeter than we like, so I’ve modified them a little to reduce the amount of sugar. Still, if you prefer a sweeter drink, feel free to sweeten the pot, so to speak!
Auntie G’s Sweet Iced Tea
- 1 small pinch of baking soda (optional)
- 75-170g sugar
- 1 l boiling water
- 1 l ice cold water
- 4 – 6 teaspoons of tea leaves
- A large jug
- A fridge
Put a pinch of baking soda at the bottom of the carafe used to store the tea, then pour 750 ml of boiling water into the carafe and steep the tea leaves in it. I highly recommend steeping the tea for as long as it takes to cool down to room temperature
Becky’s Note: The pinch of baking soda is really mostly recommended for black or green tea brews. The tannins in black and green tea tend to become more stringent tasting when cooled, so adding a little bit of baking soda helps smooth the taste. This is optional for red teas and is NOT recommended for white teas.
Dissolve the sugar in the remaining 250 ml of boiling water.
Becky’s Note: The amount of sugar used should be reflective both of how sweet you want the tea, but also the kind of tea you used. If you’re using a black tea, you’ll want to add more sugar to counteract the bitterness. If you’re using a red or white tea, less sugar is advised or the sweetness will overcome the natural taste of the tea.
I used Red Choc Mint tea from T2, as the minty flavour adds a little extra cooling to a hot day. The jug I used is also from T2, and is a specialty jug for making iced tea in. You can use a regular carafe or even a tea pot for this stage, of course, just make sure to put the tea leaves in a strainer for easy removal later!
When the tea is fully steeped, remove the leaves, add the sugar syrup and stir. Then, add the cold water and bung the jug in the fridge. Leave for at least 1 hour, then enjoy!
Little House on the Prairie Ginger Water
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp powdered ginger
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1.5 litres of cold water
Mix the sugar, ginger and apple cider vinegar and heat until the sugar is dissolved.
Becky’s Note: Honey can be substituted for brown sugar in this recipe and the results taste equally as delicious, though slightly tangier.
Pour the sugar syrup into a carafe and fill with cold water. Put in fridge for at least 1 hour.
Serve over ice and enjoy!
 I will make an exception here for Bundaberg’s Peach drink, which is absolutely heavenly. I’ve always liked Peach Soda though, as it was one of the first things I ever bought with my very first paycheck.