I have a weakness.... on a hot summer's day, there is nothing I enjoy more than an ice cold glass of Coke. I can remember lazy afternoons at my grandma's house when I was little, with a chilled glass of Coke so cold you could barely hold on it to it. It was our special late afternoon treat.
But now that we're all grown up, and we are on a journey of sustainable living, we are trying to cut the "junk" out of our diet, and that means first and foremost high fructose corn syrup (recently suggested to be linked to liver damage and diabetes, among other things). I guess soda pop, for me, was a tough one to give up. I would say, "OK, that's it, I'm going to give up pop for good now," but then, inevitably, I would be somewhere and would find myself with a big fountain drink in my hand.
Part of the problem was that I find juice a little heavy and sweet to drink all day long, but sometimes I need something more than water. So I started experimenting with creating my own special tea-based iced beverage, and I think I am onto something fabulous.... (disclaimer: OK, I cheated.... I based my recipe on a Tazo drink I was had that was delicious, but contained high fructose corn syrup and was pricey).
This drink is based on jasmine green tea, which is full of cancer-fighting anti-oxidants, and is absolutely superb served chilled over a glass of ice. In fact, I find it much more enjoyable cold than hot. The jasmine adds a delicate floral touch that is just heavenly, and the ginger makes it warming enough to drink in winter. It is smooth, refreshing, clean, and crisp, and I now drink this organic, healthy, full-of-antioxidants drink all day long! And at about 20 cents per quart, you just can't get more economical than this!
1 Numi Organic Jasmine Green Tea bag
1 quart water
honey to taste (I suggest about 1/8 - 1/4 cup, but use your own judgment)
small piece of chopped ginger (optional)
1 stick lemongrass or 1 tbsp shredded lemongrass (optional)
mint leaves (optional)
Boil the water, then pour into a glass jar with the tea bag and the honey. Let steep for approximately 5 minutes, but go longer if you want your tea strong. If you are using the ginger and lemongrass, add them to the steeping tea. You can either just throw them in, and then strain the tea when it is finished steeping, or you can add them in a spice bag or tea infuser, so they are easy to remove.
Let cool, then refrigerate. Serve chilled over ice. Throw in a mint leaf for even more yumminess and enjoy!