Preparing homemade ginger iced tea with lemon and mint is super easy. Delicious, full of flavor and refreshing. Great on a beautiful summer day.
Making ginger iced tea yourself is easy and simple. And of course I'm going to share the recipe with you. This ice cold drink is delicious when the weather is super hot. And did you know that ginger helps with nausea and calms your stomach? But of course you don't have to be sick to enjoy a delicious glass. I promise you that it will always appeal to you. And because it's such a simple recipe, you're going to make it very often.
What is iced tea?
The first iced tea recipe written down dates from the 1876 where it was included in a cookbook. The original recipe is non-carbonated and the first recipes are sweetened with sugar. And usually served with lemon. And this ginger iced tea is also flavored with lemon and non-carbonated.
How do you prepare iced tea?
There are actually two ways to make iced tea. And I'll write both methods down here. I made this recipe using the hot brewed method. But there is also a second way that is gaining popularity. The cold-brewed variant. And what the difference is and some background for making your choice of method I explain below.
Before flavoring your iced tea with all spices, you add your sweetener to hot water and make sure it is dissolved. Then (or during the infusion of the tea) you also add the other seasonings, so that they have plenty of time to release their flavors. Strain the tea and fill to the right amount.
Let it cool in the refrigerator. Just before serving, add some ice (extra refreshing) and the garnish. The latter is not necessary for the taste, but the eye is also important!
This ginger ice tea recipe is made using the hot brewed method. But feel free to choose the cold-brewed variant if you like. The recipe can be used both ways.
Cold brewed iced tea
When preparing the cold brewed version, add tea to cold water and let it flavor for 6 to 8 hours in the refrigerator. You get the best result if you use loose tea, which you strain afterwards. With tea bags, the taste of the tea is less present.
But why would you choose cold brewed iced tea?
When using hot water, the tea releases a bitter taste. Because of the heat of the water, Tanines that are naturally present in the tea leaves will be released and that cause the bitter taste. This does not happen when you use the cold brewed method. Therefore you need less sweeteners this way and as a side effect the taste of the tea is less pronounced.
Hot brewed iced tea
Actually, this way of making (iced) tea is the most common. You boil water and then turn off the heat. Dissolve the sweetener and steep the tea in the hot water. You can also add flavorings of your choice (herbs, lemon, spices such as cinnamon and star anise). Then let the drink cool and get very cold in the refrigerator.
Why choose iced tea made with hot tea?
This method is by far the fastest method, in which you have a tasty chilled glass tea within a few hours. And you can also use tea bags instead of loosen tea because the flavors are much better released in hot water.
A third advantage of this method is that you can dissolve sweetener, often sugar, well in the hot water. Sugar hardly dissolves in cold water.
And as a final advantage, there are also many people who find the bitterness caused by the Tanines just tasty and refreshing. Everybody has got it's own personal flavor choice.
Is ice tea bad for you?
Anything you drink and eat too much is not good for you. This recipe contains sugars, which is why you shouldn't drink too much, otherwise you will be consuming too many calories in a day (but an occasional delicious glass really doesn't hurt).
So too much sweetened iced tea is not good, but you should also not drink too much of the unsweetened variant. In addition to very good substances, tea also includes substances that you should not ingest too much. The advice is therefore always to eat and drink varied. And this is the truth for every kind of food or dink. My grandmother used to say, it is never good to have too much of anything except of satisfaction.
🎥 Cooking video
📖 Variations and substitutes
Below I share a basic recipe for ginger iced tea. But of course you can vary endlessly with this. For example, consider:
- Instead of green tea, you can use white tea. The white is less bitter and got a softer flavor.
- You can discard the sugar of replace it with 4 tablespoons of honey. If you want a sweet taste but no sugar you can use Stevia. A vegan substitute instead of honey can be 4 tablespoons of maple syrup.
💭 Top tips
- Dissolve the sugar in the hot water, before adding the rest of the ingredients. Sugar dissolves best in hot water while stirring. When you add the other ingredients the stirring becomes a bit more difficult.
- Turn of the heat before preparing the tea. Even better, let the tea cool down to 85 degrees Celsius / 185 degrees Fahrenheit. That way less Tanine will be released in your tea.
- A second tip to get less release of Tanine: don't squeeze your tea bags when taking them out.
- Ginger can be peeled quite easy by scraping with the back of your spoon. If you can't remove all of the skin and have a biological ginger that's not a problem. It's not a big deal if some skin is stil present.
- If you've got a bit of leftover ginger, scrape it and cut in slices. Put in a freezer bag and freeze until you need your next batch of ginger.
⏲️ What to do with left overs?
You can prepare this recipe up in front and can store it for a few days. And off course I've got some tips for you:
- Batching: Prepare a few batches of concentrated tea at once and store them in the refrigerator up to three days until you're going to serve it. Just before serving you add cold water to dilute it. This way you don't need as much refrigerator space. And that's a great thing when you're having a party and you haven't got a lot of cooling space.
- Store in the refrigerator: You can store iced tea covered up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
- Store in the freezer: Fully prepared iced tea would take a lot of space in your freezer. But a good alternative is to freeze your concentrated ginger iced tea in an ice cube tray and add these to your jar. That way your jar with iced tea is cooled down really fast.
🥘 Other delicious recipes
If you prepared this recipe for homemade ginger iced tea and you like it, you probably want to try these recipes:
- orange iced tea with lemon and lime
- Rhubarb iced tea
- Lime rose iced tea with fresh raspberries
- Strawberry lemonade with fresh strawberries
How to make it
How to prepare homemade ginger iced tea
Ginger iced tea
- 6 cups water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 bags tea green or white
- 1 inch ginger peeled and sliced
- ½ ounce mint leaves and sprigs
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice freshly squeezed
- ice cubes
- slices ginger
- mint leaves
- slices lemon
Ginger iced tea
- In a small pan bring 2 cups of water to the boil.
- Turn of the heat and add the sugar.
- Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
- Put the tea bags into the water and add the ginger, mint and lemon.
- Let it come to taste for 8 minutes.
- Take the tea bags out of the water, but don't squeeze them.
- Sieve your tea in a jar.
- Add water until you've got 6 jars of iced tea (about 4 - 4½ cups).
- Put in the refrigerator and let it cool for at least 2 hours.
- Add the ice cubes just before serving.
- Optional you can add slices of ginger, lemon and mint leaves.