It’s Getting Hot in Here (Recipes for Cool Drinks)

It is HOT in Sydney.  As in, it’s egg cooking into the pavement melt into a puddle HOT.  It’s so hot, in fact, that nobody is allowed to go visit the National Parks in case they, y’know, CATCH FIRE.

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[1].

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

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Minty Fresh!

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

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A glass of Ginger Water after a long day goes a long way!

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!

[1] 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.


Bee my Honey Bear: A Clothing Review

I have a very sweet tooth and one of the mainstays in my pantry is a jar of raw honey, not the pasteurized stuff, but raw honey straight from the comb and barely sieved to remove bits of wax.  There’s just something about the thick golden-yellow liquid that is so appealing.  It’s versatile for flavouring both sweets and meats, it has a number of health benefits and it’s delicious.

Little Odd Forest prints, one of our favourite online designers, has recently released an adorable earring collection inspired by honey, the creatures that make it and the creatures that eat it.  Naturally, I ordered the entire honey-inspired collection for my personal wardrobe.  They arrived in a timely manner in the most adorable envelope ever.

The postal bird bringeth the presents!

The postal bird bringeth the presents!

But the envelope wasn’t where the surprises ended.  Little Odd Forest included a small netting bag for the collection, handy for keeping the collection together and but also useful for other things (like laundry).  Inside, I found 6 pairs of the most adorable earrings, packed neatly in little boxes.

Aren't they just the cutest?

Aren’t they just the cutest?

Bee nose dive on a disembodied ear

Bee nose dive on a disembodied ear

If you’re wondering where the bee earrings were, I couldn’t help myself and had popped them on almost immediately after opening the packages.  They’ve been a real hit at the workplace.

The earrings are made out of laser cut plastic and stainless steel.  I’m really impressed with the adorableness of the designs!

You can get Little Odd Forest bags at Sandy Designs at Shop 483, King St in Sydney’s Newtown.  I’ve been given to understand that their bags are both adorable and fairly durable (as my sister carries one practically everywhere).

If you’re looking for the earrings specifically, you can buy them at Little Odd Forest’s website, which ships internationally.