Sun tea is one of those summer staples that I can’t do without. Sure, I could boil water or mix up instant tea, but why do that when you can make a gourmet, chef-worthy sun tea with the same tea bags you are about to boil and a handful of your favorite fresh herbs or flowers?
My everyday tea is instantly transformed into an epic flavor and cooling experience with the addition of a couple of very fragrant and large Turkish or cabbage roses. Black tea and roses is one of the most sublime beverages on the planet–and to really capture what it’s all about you need those fresh roses. Sure, you can buy rose-infused dry teas, but trust me, it’s just not the same. Fresh roses can transform even the cheapest of black teas (Lipton, anyone?) into a tea worthy of fine dining–or just a great calorie-free cooler for a hot summer day.
And here’s the recipe and secret technique to really bring out and perfectly infuse the tea with whatever florals or herbs you love the most:
1. Pack your glass sun tea jar or carafe with the amount of tea you prefer and add the fresh (never dried!) herbs and flowers of your choice.
2. Fill with cold water. Submerge the flowers and herbs well. Cover tightly with a lid and set in the direct sunlight outside for up to 6 hours.
3. Bring the tea inside and wait for the jar to cool down a bit if it is hot from being in the sun. Put the jar or carafe in the freezer to cool down very quickly. Occasionally agitate the jar until the tea inside is very cold. Take this out of the freezer and remove the flowers, herbs and tea bags. If you happen to leave this for too long in the freezer and it starts to form ice, wait until the ice melts, and then remove the flowers, herbs and tea bags. Store in the refrigerator and drink within three days.