Beat the heat this summer with a delightful and refreshing glass of Iced Citrus Tea. This thirst-quenching beverage combines the tangy flavours of citrus fruits with the soothing qualities of tea, making it the perfect companion for hot days and outdoor gatherings. With just a few simple ingredients, you can create a delicious and healthy drink that will keep you cool all season long. Let’s dive into the recipe!
Citrus in Tea
Having citrus fruits like lemon, lime, and calamansi in drinks adds a burst of refreshing flavour and a delightful tanginess that can elevate any beverage. Citrus fruits are not only rich in vitamin C but also carry complex and aromatic compounds that awaken the senses, making them a popular choice for adding zest to various drinks. Let’s explore the unique characteristics and uses of these citrus fruits in different beverages:
Lemon is one of the most versatile citrus fruits, known for its bright yellow colour and tangy taste. Its juice and zest can be used in a wide range of drinks, from classic lemonades to cocktails. The acidity of lemons balances sweetness, making it an essential ingredient in many recipes. Lemon slices or wedges are often added as garnishes to enhance both the visual appeal and flavour of drinks.
Lime is another beloved citrus fruit widely used in various cuisines and beverages worldwide. It has a slightly more intense and tangy flavor than lemons, with a distinctive green color. Lime juice is commonly used to brighten up tropical and summery drinks, adding a burst of citrusy goodness.
Calamansi, also known as Philippine lime or calamondin, is a small, round citrus fruit native to Southeast Asia. It has a unique flavor profile, combining the tartness of lime with a slight sweetness reminiscent of tangerines. Calamansi is a popular ingredient in Filipino cuisine and is used to add zest to drinks and dishes.
When incorporating citrus fruits into drinks, it’s important to balance their acidity with sweeteners like honey, agave syrup, or simple syrup. This ensures a harmonious flavor profile that is both tangy and sweet, without being overly sour.
Whether you’re making a classic lemonade, mixing up a tropical lime cocktail, or enjoying the unique taste of calamansi, adding citrus fruits to your drinks is sure to elevate the experience and provide a burst of summery goodness. So, the next time you’re in need of a refreshing beverage, don’t forget to reach for these vibrant citrus options!
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Summer Iced Citrus Tea
4 cups water
4 tea bags (black tea, green tea, or herbal tea of your choice)
10 calamansi, halved
1 lemon, sliced
2 lime, sliced
1/4 cup honey or agave syrup (adjust to taste)
- Boil the Water: Start by bringing 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Once the water reaches a rolling boil, turn off the heat and add the tea bags to steep. Whether you prefer the robustness of black tea, the earthy notes of green tea, or the calming herbal varieties, the choice is yours.
- Steep the Tea: Allow the tea bags to steep in the hot water for about 3 to 5 minutes, or according to the instructions on the tea package. Avoid over-steeping, as it may result in a bitter taste. If you prefer a stronger tea, you can steep it for a little longer, but be mindful not to exceed the recommended time.
- Mix your Citrus Mixture: In a big bowl, combine sliced lemon and lime, half calamansi, honey and iced. Using a mudler mesh all the ingredients well.
- Chill the Tea: Once the tea is sweetened, transfer it to a pitcher and let it cool to room temperature. Afterward, cover the pitcher and place it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 to 2 hours. Chilling the tea allows the flavors to meld together and creates a smoother taste.
- Add Citrus Slices to the Chilled Tea: Once the tea has chilled sufficiently, take it out of the refrigerator. Gently add the prepared citrus slices to the tea, stirring slightly to distribute the flavors. The combination of orange, lemon, and lime creates a balanced blend of tangy and zesty notes, perfect for a refreshing summer drink.
- Serve the Iced Citrus Tea: Fill tall glasses with ice cubes and pour the chilled citrus tea over the ice. If you prefer, you can strain out the citrus slices before serving, although leaving them in adds a lovely visual appeal and more intense citrus flavor.