Tag Archives: Sweet Tea

Ice Ice Baby

While it’s not quite as muggy further up the east coast, my New York friends have been reporting wickedly harsh days in the mid to high 90’s. I can only imagine what it must be like trying to find a breeze in a city of glass and concrete, and I truly feel for you guys. At least in Florida we expect for it to be stupidly hot this time of year. In the south, you learn early on how to beat the heat.  Avoid cooking in doors (yes, that’s why we all have grills), keep any unnecessary lights turned off, sit in front of the fan and most importantly, keep the iced beverages coming. Trust me, the iced beverages are the key, you really really have to make sure to stay hydrated. I speak from unpleasant experience. Here are some fun ways to make your drinks a little more interesting.

Fancy Ice Cubes:

Berry Mint Ice Cubes

Perfect for jazzing up a boring glass of water, these ice cubes are very easy to make. Just  put a mint leaf and your berry of choice in each compartment of the ice tray, fill the rest of the way with water, freeze and enjoy.  Larger berries like straw berries may have to be halved or quartered to fit.

Coffee/Tea Ice Cubes

Here in the south, sweet tea is a staple in almost every household. Heck, I’ve consumed so much tea in my 26, i’m surprised it’s not running through my veins. And to me, nothing ruins a refreshing glass of tea faster than melted ice. To prevent this fill your ice trays with sweet tea, freeze and problem solved. This work with iced coffee as well.  You hear that Starbucks? Seriously, you might want to consider this.

Layered Ice Cubes

A little more labor intensive, these ice cubes are great for giving your lemonade or iced tea a little some thing special.  Pour a layer of fruit juice into your ice tray, freeze, then repeat. Keep going until you have the visual result you want, or you run out of room. I’m thinking strawberry, blueberry and raspberry.  Or you can go the extra mile and incorporate a layer of fruit puree.

My only other beverage advice, straws. Wacky straws make everything better.

Images from here:

Sweet Tea

Being raised in the South, sweet tea has been a staple beverage in my diet for as long as I can remember.  Sometimes it was the only beverage option: you could have tea or tap water, period.  I still enjoy drinking sweet tea, but I usually get it half and half (half sweet, half unsweet) just to cut down on my sugar intake.  Within the last few years I have been deviating from the traditional tea flavor and experimenting with everything from standard green to hibiscus and spice teas.  Andy and I had tea together for our first date and a few weeks later for our first Christmas together he gave me tins of some of my favorite flavors from a company called Zhena’s Gypsy Tea.

The first two are our household staples: the Egyptian Mint to help beat the summer heat, and the Early Grey to keep us comfy and fortified in the cooler months.  The bottom two are the new flavors that I am really itching to try. They both sound like fantastic summer refreshments. Just add a little Agave Nectar (my sugar substitute) and pour into a tall glass with ice – petal infused perfection!

Tea and additional info available here.