Iced Tea is welcome and refreshing at tea parties during hot weather. And some people prefer iced tea all the time. If you know your guests like Iced Tea, make a pitcher in advance and have it ready in the refrigerator even if you are also serving hot tea. Iced Tea can be made from any kind of tea, black or green, or from herbal teas or tisanes. You can also enhance the flavor of Iced Tea by adding fruit, herbs or spices.
To make 8 cups of Iced Tea, bring 8 cups of water to a boil in a large cooking pot. Remove the pot from the heat and add 6 tea bags. Cover and let the tea steep for at least 5 minutes—longer for stronger tea. Remove the tea bags and pour the tea into a half-gallon pitcher. Cover and refrigerate. You can make Iced Tea the day before you serve it. Serve it in an attractive glass pitcher with ice cubes. Offer more ice cubes in tall glasses to your guests along with lemon wedges and sugar. If you have long handled spoons for stirring Iced Tea, offer them to your guests who want to add sugar to their Iced Tea.
To enhance the flavor of Iced Tea and complement the foods you are serving, you can add lemon or orange slices, sliced cucumbers, fresh blackberries, sprigs of mint, cinnamon sticks, or slices of fresh peeled ginger.
Southern Sweet Tea
Sweet Tea is an extremely popular beverage in the American South, and as its name indicates, it is an Iced Tea that has already been sweetened. To make 10 cups of Sweet Tea, bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan and add 8 tea bags. Boil for 1 minute; remove from the heat, cover and steep for 10 minutes. Discard the tea bags and add ¾ cup of sugar, stirring to dissolve. Pour the sweetened tea into a 1-gallon pitcher and add 7 cups of cold water. Stir with a long spoon and refrigerate. When serving, add ice cubes to the pitcher and serve in tall glasses with more ice cubes.