This weekend we have been graced with extraordinarily unseasonal weather for British summer (let alone April). Ordinarily in summer it’s overcast, cold and raining – much like winter only a bit less dark in the evenings – but this weekend the sun is shining, temperatures are soaring to 18C and there is nary a cloud in the sky to cast a shadow on this perfect summery day.
The only sane reaction to this sort of weather is, of course, to don shorts, slap on some sun cream, do some gardening, have a BBQ and… make some iced tea. Yes, I have done all of these things this weekend and I couldn’t feel better about it.
I had some issues trying to find a recipe for iced tea. Possibly this was because I was so over-excited by the prospect that I just started it, then halfway through thought maybe I should consult a recipe, then ignored all recipes and just carried on as I was. The main issue though was that all the recipes seemed to be something along the lines of:
1. Make tea with tea bags
2. Add lemon and sugar to taste
Erm, thanks? Firstly this is unofficial English Summer and tea bags just won’t cut it. Secondly, any recipe that only requires three ingredients (well, okay, four if you count the water) and tells you to add two of them “to taste” is not really a recipe so much as a list of foodstuffs that can somehow be combined into something delicious but you’re on your own figuring out how.
Makes approximately 2 litres (I say approximately 2 litres because our large measuring jug has chocolate sauce in it, so I was trying to measure the iced tea by pouring it between three different containers . For a short while I felt I’d actually been transplanted into a Professor Layton game)
2 teaspoons tea leaves (I used Ceylon)
1 litre water
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
juice of one lemon (approximately 60ml)
1. Make the tea. Boil the water then pour over the tea leaves and steep for around 15 minutes (I have heard you can experiment a lot with amount of tea used vs. steeping time. I just used 2 teaspoons of tea as this is how much I’d use if I were making a pot of tea, and steeped for 15 minutes while I ate my breakfast)
2. Remove the tea leaves. Stir in the sugar until dissolved. Add the lemon juice and top up to around 2L with cold water
3. Chill completely before serving (alternatively use ice in step 2 to get it cold quickly)
Serve with ice, in the garden, with sunshine. Small cat optional.