But while there is a good bit of hot summer weather left, get out there and make some sun tea. It's the easiest thing in the world. OK, opening a bottle of beer might be easier, but let's focus on non-alcoholic, nearly-calorie-free thirst quenchers.
What You Need
A spot outdoors in full sun for most of that very sunny, fairly warm day
1 clean, quart-sized, GLASS wide-mouth mason canning jar with a lid. (see left)
They are priced best at the hardware store. Do not opt for a pretty plastic jar or a used mayonnaise jar. The canning jars are sturdy, stylish in their own right and have a variety of uses (kim chee), making them a good value at about $8 (for 12 of them).
2 tea bags or a few heaping spoonfuls of loose tea. A word on taste: I prefer unsweetened tea. If you like your iced tea a little sweet, add a bit of raw sugar, lemonade or even pineapple juice to your individual glass, rather than the entire jar.
What To Do
Fill the jar with water, add the tea bags or loose tea. Cover tightly and set it outside in the morning. Take it in when it gets dark and refrigerate. Drink with ice cubes to your heart's content.
Here are our household favorites:
My favorite 'plain' iced tea. Followed closely by plain ole' Lipton black tea. I've found that the black teas brew best on the hottest days. I have also chosen higher quality and mostly organic teas when I can. Even with the $8 investment in jars, and $5 cost for tea bags, it works out about $1 per quart of tea. No electricity or driving costs and much cheaper than bought.
A green tea that smells fabulous. The Tea Chest has a bunch of really great ice teas, including a signature ice tea from Alan Wong's restaurants. This is loose tea so I use one jar to brew the tea in the sun, and then use a colander and pour the strained tea into a clean jar. Leaves go to compost.
This is the *exact same* tea that Starbuck's uses to make Passion Ice Tea/Lemonade. Save your bucks and make this at home. This is particularly good for sun tea and seems to need the least amount of heat to brew. By itself, it has a very tangy flavor. Add some pineapple juice or lemonade, shake it up and you've just made a $3 drink.
This is my kids favorite. It's spicy/cinnamon-ey and very slightly sweet. This one also brews best on really hot days.
One final note: I've neither been paid nor received any complimentary products. Believe me, if this happens, you'll be the first to know :)
Stay hydrated in style. Eat Well. Be Well.