June is National Iced Tea Month, inspiring one of our favorite tips: Brew your own iced tea.
It’s easy to buy bottles of ready-brewed tea. Bbut if you drink a bottle or two a day (or more), why pay dollars when you can enjoy it for pennies—and be kind to the environment at the same time?
We let the brewed tea cool, then pour it into empty 16-ounce water bottles and iced tea bottles we save for the purpose. We enjoy the grab-and-go convenience of our home-brewed tea.
That’s our “introductory tip.” Our main tip of the day is: Plan a summer iced tea party.
Here’s everything to consider to plan your party.
You can make it casual, or add fun with dress-up: big hats, seersucker jackets, etc.
Your guests may enjoy it so much, that they’ll lobby for it to become an annual event.
It’s possible that centuries ago, some wealthy person (or servant) in the tea-growing nations of Ceylon, China, India or Japan may have taken some ice from the ice-house to chill a cup of hot tea on a hot day.
If it ever happened, the practice didn’t take hold, and no old recipes or references exist for it.
Before refrigeration, only the wealthy could afford to have ice cut from lakes and rivers in the winter, or brought down from the mountaintops in warmer countries, and stored in ice houses for summer use.
The oldest known ice house, built by a king in Persia, dates from about 1700 B.C.E. Most other people dug ice pits, lined with straw and sawdust.
While commercial refrigeration was available by the late 1800s, the home refrigerator with ice trays didn’t arrive until 1930. Prior to then, people used an insulated metal “ice box,” which held ice delivered from the “ice man” to keep perishables cold. When the ice melted, it was replaced.
As you enjoy a cold iced tea on a hot day, give thanks that you live in modern times!