In 2021, the cocktail of the summer was the espresso martini — and for summer 2022, it's easily the Dirty Shirley. However, in the realm of non-alcoholic drinks that you can sip all day long sans the hangover, iced tea is absolutely timeless.
And because it's so simple to make your own, we've rounded up a few DIY tips to upgrade your classic iced tea.
Obviously, the recipe for iced tea is simple: steep it hot and let it cool in the fridge, or steep it cold for cold brew tea, over a longer period of time.
But there are so many easy ways to take things up a notch. Whether you expand your tea selection beyond the classic black tea, infuse it with pineapple, or add some edible flowers is entirely up to you. The world of iced tea is your refreshing little oyster.
Switch up your tea selection.
While perusing your local grocery's tea selection, there's a chance you reach for the same box of Yogi tea you've been drinking for years (don't worry, we're the same way!). But try switching up your routine! There are so many amazing Fair Trade teas out there that are definitely worth your while — Hobbs Tea, Numi Tea, and Ami Wellness are just a few of our favorites that come in so many amazing flavors, you'll want to try them all.
Infuse it with fruit.
You've likely heard of infusing your water with cucumbers, lemons, or oranges... but what about doing the same with your iced tea? Brew up something delicious, and infuse iced green tea with strawberries, or black tea with pineapple. All you need is a fruit-infusing water bottle — Live Infinitely sells 32-ounce fruit infusing bottles for less than $20 each, so it's definitely worth your while.
Add natural sweetener.
For a little added sweetness, try adding your own natural sweetener. Agave, which comes from the same plant tequila does, is vegan and incredibly light. If you aren't vegan, honey is a good option (maybe just opt for locally harvested!). Depending on what you're looking for, there are so many natural sweeteners out there that could definitely augment your iced tea drinking experience.
Try out new nut milks for added creaminess.
Nut milk definitely adds an element of richness to your iced tea, if you're into that. Depending on your personal preference, you can try coconut, cashew, almond, oat, soy, rice, or pea milk — there are so many varieties out there.
Consider adding some carbonation.
Carbonation to your iced tea? While bubbles definitely aren't for everyone, it could add some pizazz to your iced tea. Make it easy for yourself and add your favorite seltzer after finishing your brew — it's beyond simple.
Try flavored simple syrups.
For fun flavors, consider infusing simple syrup with floral or fruit flavors. Elderflower syrup is popular for cocktails, but instead of adding it to your libations, stir it into your iced tea. There are so many different kinds out there, and you can even make them on your own, if you have time!
Although it might not add anything taste-wise, sprinkling some edible flowers into your pitcher of iced tea will definitely add aesthetic. Your garden party will be next-level.
Replace ice cubes with frozen fruit.
Because ice cubes can dilute the flavor of your iced tea when they melt, try adding frozen grapes or strawberries. If anything, they'll add flavor, and they'll serve as a tasty snack when you've finished your last glass.