Iced tea is a favourite summer sipper and easy to make from scratch. You probably already have everything you need in your cupboards right now to whip up a tasty pitcher of iced tea. All it takes is a few tablespoons of tea leaves (or a couple tea bags), water and a bit of sugar and you are on your way. Making iced tea from scratch also lets you control the amount of sugar you use, or you can skip the sugar altogether and just add lemon for a tart, thirst-quenching drink.

1. Use enough Tea

When foods are served cold, the flavours become dull. A stronger tea is necessary to have a well-flavoured tea served cold. Use 2-3 tablespoons of  tea (two tea bags) for every 3 cups of water for best results.

2. Don’t oversteep

If you prefer your tea stronger, use more tea bags rather than lengthening the steeping time. Allowing tea to overstep brings out the tannins in the tea and can make it bitter. For weaker tea, reduce the steeping time rather than taking away tea bags for better flavour.

3. Add sugar to hot water

If you sweeten your tea, add the sugar to the hot tea in order to dissolve the grains. If you prefer to sweeten your tea afterwards as per each persons taste, use a simple syrup (recipe below) rather than granulated sugar which will leave sugar grains in your glass.

4. Cool before refrigerating

Putting hot tea into a cold fridge will make your tea cloudy. Allow your tea to cool before you refrigerate.  If you do end up with cloudy tea, try adding a bit of boiling water to it – it will sometimes do the trick!

5. Keep it real

Don’t use artificial lemon juice. Only use real fresh squeezed lemon juice from fresh lemons for the very best flavour.

6. Fresh is best

Iced tea taste best when it is freshly made. Make only what you will drink in two or three days. It’s easy to make, so don’t worry about having to mix up another batch!

Top secret iced tea ingredient: Sugar syrup

Keep this easy to make sugar syrup on hand to sweeten tea. It combines with cold tea much better than sugar.
In a measuring cup, whisk together 1 cup (250 mL) each granulated sugar and boiling water until clear and the sugar is dissolved. Makes 1-1/2 cups (375 mL)