Summer is here — climatologically, astronomically, and emotionally. That means keeping cold drinks in the refrigerator. We make a lot of iced tea, lemonade, and iced coffee. Here are the recipes I use.
I use decaffeinated Lipton tea bags, in the big cheap box of 72. I add 4 cups of very hot (not boiling) water to 5 tea bags, let it steep for 4-6 minutes, then remove the tea bags. Let it sit and cool, then mix with more cold water and/or ice cubes to bring it to 2 quarts (64 oz., and when for the love of reason are we going to go metric?). If you want to sweeten it, add lemonade.
I make a batch of double-strength coffee in my french press — using 8 scoops of beans instead of the normal 4 for 32 oz. Pour the coffee and let it cool (the point is not to pour hot liquids into a plastic pitcher, which is what I’ve got), then add water or ice to bring to 2 quarts. That’s still strong enough that you’ll do well to add ice when serving.
Just started making it this way, and love it. Are fresh-squeezed lemons the best? They are. Are they the cheapest? They are not. So I use bottled pure lemon juice, sometimes supplemented with squeezings from a couple of fresh lemons. In a small sauce pan, heat 1 cup of water and add 1 cup of sugar — this will liquify the sugar and keep it from precipitating out. Don’t boil! Then add 1 cup of lemon juice, and mix with cold water and/or ice to bring to the magical 2 quarts (guess what size my pitchers are?). Again, this concentration allows for ice when serving.
Remember – there isn’t a man, woman or child alive who doesn’t enjoy a nice cold beverage!