I’ve been concerned about how much pop (for my American friends, soda) I drink. I only drink ginger ale, but of that, I drink regular pop, not diet pop. The reason? I have bad reactions to artificial sweeteners. Aspartame gives me nasty, nasty migraines and I find that Splenda gives horrible body pains. So I figure, sugar is the lesser of the evils, so to speak. But really, pop isn’t the best when it comes to beverages. While I won’t cut my ginger ale right out of my diet, I have been looking for other alternatives. I love water, but it gets boring sometimes. Often, I’ll resort to tea, as I love tea and it’s better for me than pop.
But then the hot, sticky weather slammed into my neck of the woods and it’s left me very uninterested in hot tea. What’s a girl to do in the hot summer months when she’s trying to cool off?
I was looking at my poor, dejected kettle when I suddenly got an idea. Eureka! Why not make homemade iced tea? But why stop there? Why not get inventive and add different flavour profiles to each carafe I have to put in the fridge? So, into my fridge, freezer and pantry I went and found the following items:
- sugar (obviously)
- masala tea seasoning & cardamom powder
- frozen raspberries
- orange juice
Surely I could make up some amazing ice teas with these ingredients!
So for my first batch, I added lemon juice and slices, sugar and a touch of honey for a nice lemon & honey iced tea. It was so incredibly refreshing that I no longer craved that can of ginger ale, but I was still a little parched. The can remained on my desk a while longer, unopened.
My second batch was a lovely spiced blend made with a splash or two of lemon juice, about half a cup of orange juice, the spices I had found and some more honey and sugar for what I’m calling chai iced tea (pictured above). I’m currently sipping it now over ice. I have also since put the can of ginger ale back in the fridge.
My third batch has yet to be completed, but will be flavoured with a raspberry syrup, which was inspired by Alton Brown’s blueberry soda syrup. Instead of blueberries, I’ve used an entire bag of frozen raspberries and am substituting lemon for the lime that his recipe calls for. I may also add a touch of orange juice to the mixture, too, depending on how it turns out (just for a little added depth).