The Ladies' Tea Guild

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Celebrate Iced Tea Month!

image from Wikipedia.
Did you know that June is known as Iced Tea Month among tea-lovers? With the beginning of summer comes the perfect weather for a refreshing glass of iced tea. Although there is no reason to become bored with good old iced tea – because of the wide range of flavored teas commercially available – tea can be used to make many other cold beverages.

Alcohol-free beverages include punches, virgin cocktails or “mocktails”, spritzers, and of course, the ever-popular Arnold Palmer. Named for one of the most famous California golfers, an Arnold Palmer is nothing more than iced tea and lemonade mixed together in equal parts. It is one of my favorite ways to drink iced tea in the summer! You can also add things like rose water, orange flower water, and simple syrups flavored with mint, orange peel or other fruits to your iced tea for more variation.

Tea punches are simply iced tea (any flavor) mixed with your choice of fruit juice and/or soda pop (especially fruit flavored). Spritzers are iced tea mixed with flavored or unflavored soda or carbonated water, in a 1:1 ratio, or whatever you like. Tea "mocktails" are mixed drinks containing iced tea and any non-alcoholic ingredient used in a regular cocktail, like bitters, mint, sugar, lemon, ginger ale, salt, limes, etc. All of the above beverages can and should be garnished with edible flowers, a sprig of mint or lavender, or something else equally refreshing and attractive. They can be served in traditional cocktail glasses, wine glasses, punch cups or iced tea glasses, whatever you have and want to use. You have no need to limit yourself to plain water at a party, if you don't want to!

Here are some interesting non-alcoholic tea drinks that might be a good addition to your next summer barbecue:

Mint Edition martini
* 1/4 cup of fresh spearmint leaves.
* 1 ounce of freshly squeezed lime juice.
* 1/2 teaspoon of powdered sugar.
* 8 ounces of cold tea (black tea works just fine).

Crush your mint leaves. Rub a pinch of mint on the inside of the bowl of two frozen martini glasses. Pour your tea and lime juice into a shake 1/2 full of cracked ice. Add your crushed mint leaves. Shake gently, in a diagonal motion for a full minute. Add your powdered sugar and shake for another full minute. Strain into your martini glasses.
-- from

Geisha Tea

1/4 oz. ginger syrup
1/2 oz. lemon juice
3/4 cup brewed or bottled green tea
1/2 oz. Sprite

In a tall cocktail glass, fill to top with ice. Add syrup, lemon juice and green tea. Top off with Sprite. Garnish with a lemon slice.

To make ginger syrup:


2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups water
1-inch knob fresh ginger


1. Put sugar, water and fresh ginger in a small saucepot.
2. Bring to a boil and let sit for 15 minutes.
3. Remove ginger and chill.
-- Recipe from 10 Fabulous Alcohol-Free Cocktails, by chef Debbie Gold of 40 Sardines in Leawood, Kansas, reviewed in Fine Living Magazine.

History of iced tea, sweet tea and tea punch
Sweet Tea Mocktail recipe
Pomegranite Iced Tea
The Tiger Woods Mocktail (variation on Arnold Palmer)
Boston Iced Tea
Lemon Almond Tea
Five Great Mocktails from San Francisco

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Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And, while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful evening in.
-- William Cowper (1731-1800)
"The Winter Evening" (Book Four), _The Task_ (1784)