“Tea Punch – Make a pint and a half of very strong tea in the usual manner; strain it, and pour it boiling (hot) on one pound and a quarter of loaf sugar. (That’s 2 1/2 cups white sugar) Add half a pint of rich, sweet cream, and then stir in gradually a bottle of claret or champagne. You may heat it to the boiling point, and serve it so, or you may send it round entirely cold, in glass cups.”
“Ice Tea – After scalding the teapot put into it one quart of boiling water and two teaspoonfuls green tea. If wanted for supper, do this at breakfast. At dinner time, strain, without stirring, through a tea strainer into a pitcher. Let it stand until tea time and pour into decanters, leaving the sediment in the bottom of the pitcher. Fill the goblets with ice, put two teaspoonfuls granulated sugar in each, and pour the tea over the ice and sugar. A squeeze of lemon will make this delicious and healthful, as it will correct the astringent tendency.”The final 19th-century ice tea recipe is passed down to us by Mrs D. A. (Mary) Lincoln, director of the Boston Cooking School, in her 1884 book “Mrs Lincoln’s Boston Cook Book: What to Do and What Not to Do in Cooking.” Makes for some very practical reading even for a modern-day chef!
“Ice Tea or Russian Tea – Make the tea by the first receipt, strain it from the grounds, and keep it cool. When ready to serve, put two cubes of block sugar in a glass, half fill with broken ice, add a slice of lemon, and fill the glass with cold tea.”
A traditional American South ice tea recipe from the early 20th century comes from Mrs S.R. Dull which she shared with her Atlanta Journal readers in 1928, in the Home Economics section. Her recipe remains popular in the Southern United States to this day:
“TEA – Freshly brewed tea, after three to five minutes’ infusion, is essential if a good quality is desired. The water, as for coffee, should be freshly boiled and poured over the tea for this short time . . . The tea leaves may be removed when the desired strength is obtained... Tea, when it is to be iced, should be made much stronger, to allow for the ice used in chilling. A medium strength tea is usually liked. A good blend and grade of black tea are most popular for iced tea, while green and black are used for hot . . . To sweeten tea for an iced drink-less sugar is required if put in while tea is hot, but often too much is made and sweetened, so in the end, there is more often a waste than saving... Iced tea should be served with or without lemon, with a sprig of mint, a strawberry, a cherry, a slice of orange, or pineapple. This may be fresh or canned fruit. Milk is not used in iced tea.”
If you are not feeling adventurous enough to try some of our forefather's ice tea recipes here are some modern-day ones and tips on how to make your homemade iced tea from tea bags.
A perfect healthy alternative if you are looking to lose weight or detox over the summer, as it uses very little sugar when compared to most commercial iced tea brands available today!
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Seán Farrell – Founder, Chateau Rouge