Iced tea is a popular choice of restaurant patrons and restaurant owners because it offers a multitude of benefits to both groups. Diners often choose tea as a healthier alternative to carbonated soft drinks. It is loaded with antioxidants and helps fight free radicals. Tea is also hydrating in spite of its caffeine content. Customers are also often drawn to choose tea because it is more likely to include free refills. Iced Tea is mutually beneficial to the restaurant owner as a highly economical menu item. Brewed tea doesn’t require much equipment to prepare and is a great profit center. Looking to crank up the volume on those profits? Consider offering specialty iced tea this summer. You can charge a premium price for flavored tea and most importantly, many consumers actively seek a variety of tea flavors and options when dining. In honor of June being Iced Tea month here are some recipes that just may draw a big, thirsty crowd into your establishment especially during the hot months ahead.
Strawberry Basil Iced Tea
From Martha Stewart
8 black tea bags
1 lb. strawberries, hulled and halved or quartered
1 c. water, plus more for steeping
¾ c. sugar
1 c. fresh basil, plus more for serving
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add tea bags and let steep for 5 minutes.
Place strawberries in a bowl. Bring water and sugar to boil in a small saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, add basil and let steep for 10 minutes. Strain over strawberries; discard basil. Toss to coat. Let stand until cool, about 25 minutes.
Combine strawberries and tea in a pitcher. Refrigerate until chilled. Serve over ice, and garnish with basil. Serves 8.
Orange Earl Grey Iced Tea
1/4 cup loose Earl Grey tea or 12 Earl Grey tea bags
Peel of 1 orange, plus orange wedges for garnish
4 c. boiling water
3/4 c. orange juice
1/4 c. sugar
4 c. cold water
Steep loose tea or tea bags and orange peel in boiling water for 3-5 minutes.
Strain the tea or remove the tea bags and orange peel. Pour into a large pitcher. Stir in orange juce and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Add cold water. Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.
Serve over ice with orange wedges. Serves 8.
Apricot Iced Tea
8 black tea bags
6 c. boiling water
½ c. fresh mint leaves
(3) 12 oz. can apricot nectar
1 tsp. vanilla
Fresh apricot wedges (optional)
Fresh mint sprigs (optional)
In a large heatproof pitcher, combine tea bags, boiling water and mint leaves. Let steep for 5 minutes. Remove and discard the tea bags and mint.
Cover tea and let stand for 1 hour. Stir in apricot nectar and vanilla. Cover and chill for 4-48 hours.
To serve, fill tall glasses with ice cubes and pour tea mixture over ice. If desired, garnish with apricot wedges and/or mint sprigs. Serves 6.
Iced Lavender Green Tea
4 green tea bags
1 ½ tsp. fresh lavender blossoms or ¾ tsp. dried lavender
Lavender sprigs (optional)
Heat 1 qt. water in a medium saucepan until it just begins to simmer. Remove from heat and add tea and lavender.
Steep for 5 minutes and strain into a heatproof pitcher. Let cool.
Pour into ice filled glasses and garnish with lavender sprigs. Serves 4.
Lemon Blueberry Iced Tea
1 (16-oz.) package frozen blueberries
1/2 c. fresh lemon juice
4 c. water
3 family-size tea bags
3/4 c. sugar
Bring 1 (16-oz.) package frozen blueberries and 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice to a boil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and pour through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a bowl, using back of a spoon to squeeze out juice. Discard solids. Wipe saucepan clean.
Bring 4 cups water to a boil in same saucepan; add 3 family-size tea bags, and let stand 5 minutes. Remove and discard tea bags. Stir in 3/4 cup sugar and blueberry juice mixture. Pour into a pitcher; cover and chill 1 hour. Serve over ice. Makes 5 cups