Tea and I haven’t always had a happy relationship. Growing up in Pennsylvania, I knew “iced tea” to be a dark, foreboding cocktail of bitterness with a venomous splash of lemon. Whenever someone gave “iced tea” as a drink choice, I debated the pros and cons of dying of thirst, vs. drinking it.
When I moved to South Carolina, I went over to someone’s house, and the hostess brought out a pitcher of the evil brown liquid. I mentally braced myself, preparing to block out the taste as I gulped down the vile stuff. I held my breath and took a sip. And my eyes opened. And I took another sip.
And the heavens opened.
This wasn’t like any tea I had ever had, in my entire life. This wasn’t just “iced tea.” This was “Sweet Tayyyy,” as they said, down there, and it was delicious. From that first, golden sunbeam moment . . . my love of tea grew. Now, it is my favorite hot (and cold!) beverage, and with the arrival of summer and the bounty of fresh summer fruits, there is no better way to bring a smile to your summer cookouts and holiday barbecues than to whip up a batch of this sweet, delicious, peachy cooler.
What are we waiting for? Let’s do this!
Refreshing Peach Tea
(Note: This recipe makes a “concentrate,” so it is best enjoyed either warm over a full glass of ice to dilute it, or mixed with water, to taste, which makes it excellent to take to a picnic– it doesn’t take up much room and can be mixed with water or ice when you get there 🙂
4 cups water
4 cups white sugar
4 ripe peaches, peeled and sliced
6 black tea bags
Boil sugar, water, and peaches for 1 minute. Use a potato masher to smash fruit into smaller pieces, if desired. Remove syrup from heat and add in tea bags. Steep for 30 minutes or until tea reaches desired strength. Dilute concentrate with a glass full of ice (this works great when tea is still warm) or water, to taste.
This recipe couldn’t be easier, and it’s one of my favorite refreshing summer favorites! Let’s take a look at the process in pictures.
To begin with, as I stated, above, this recipe makes a “peach tea concentrate.” I prefer to make concentrated drinks, because they don’t take up as much space, and I can dilute them with ice or water, based on individual tastes. I love being able to throw a thermos of some delicious drink concentrate, like Black and Blue Lemonade, Sweet Strawberry Lemonade, or Refreshing Cherry Limeade into the car, and then just pour it over ice when I get there. That way, also, everyone can put in the right amount of “sweet” for individual tastes.
So it’s easy peasy. Let’s make it!
To begin with, we are going to basically make a peach simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water). Mix your water, sugar, and peeled/sliced peaches into a saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil for 1 minute. The boiling step just helps us to avoid that “shifting drifting sugar sands” syndrome that many sweet cold drinks have. If you see that sandy layer on the bottom of the cup, you can bet that the sugar and water were not boiled, first. Bet on it.
Once the mixture has boiled for 1 minute, turn off the heat. At this point, if you want to, you can use a potato masher to squish up the softened peach chunks. I went ahead and did that– and then everyone gets a little bit of peach in his or her cup, instead of one person hogging all the big fruit pieces. 😉
I used 6 teabags, but you can use more or less, depending on your taste. Remember– this tea will be strong and super sweet– it is meant to be diluted, not to be sipped “straight.” 😉 I allowed the teabags to steep for about 1/2 hour, but, again, you can adjust the time based on your own tastes. I then threw (well . . not LITERALLY threw) the tea into the fridge to cool down. I also poured a nice, big glass of warm tea over a cup full of ice. And it was so lovely . . . the ice melted and made the drink ice cold, and the tea diluted just enough to be . . . perfection.
And then, because I’m a mom and *love* cleaning up messes (read: sarcasm), I decided to throw some peaches at the glass and take pictures of it. And it made a colossal mess all over my kitchen. And there was tea dripping from surfaces I didn’t even know I had. And we were covered, head to toe, with sweet, peachy loveliness. And my 4 year old thought it was just the best thing, ever. Eh . . . sometimes in life, you have to just loosen up and have fun and throw peaches at each other. 😉
Pass me your glass. I think you need a refill.
You did it. And I’m just so proud of you.
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