Tea isn’t just a drink to warm you up on those cold winter evenings; it is also an excellent beverage to enjoy as you relax by the pool with the sun kissing your skin. Of course, once the forecast spikes above a certain point in late spring, you’ll want to pass on the warm mug of tea and bring things down a few degrees with a chilled version complemented by these delicious additions. Simply brew your favorite tea like normal and place it in the fridge for a few hours to create a healthy, hydrating summer drink.
You really can’t go wrong with mint and a tall glass of iced tea. Grow your own mint plant on your kitchen counter or in a pot on your back patio and harvest as much as needed to give your tea that minty kick. Grab a handful of mint leaves, wash them, and add them to the teapot or pitcher as you’re brewing. Strain leaves along with the tea bags. Mint pairs well with almost any of the ingredients listed below, so feel free to add it to any tea that needs a hint of mint.
The potent flavor of lemon combines incredibly well with a large variety of tea. Whether you like traditional black tea or something fancier like pomegranate twist, a little squeeze of lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit juice will enhance the flavor and leave your tastebuds singing. Garnish your glass of tea with a citrus wedge to create that Instagram-worthy summer beverage.
Hopefully, you’ve stopped adding sugar to your tea by now. If so, you may be looking for a healthier addition to satisfy your craving for something sweet. Honey, as always, is the optimal substitution. Simply add a teaspoon to your glass and stir! The honey will dissolve in cold water better than sugar, which makes it perfect for iced tea. You can also incorporate it during the brewing process to sweeten the entire pitcher.
Though berries may not be your first thought, they actually make ideal additions to your summer tea. Not just for the flavor, but for the essential antioxidants and beneficial nutrients as well. Rinse off a handful of fresh blueberries and add them whole to your green tea or create a pulp using the blender or food processor and infuse the flavor during brewing. If you do the latter, be sure to strain the pulp when you remove the tea bags or leaves. Blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries can be used similarly
If you are still trying to wean yourself off of sugar or desire a drink with a more potent (yet still healthy) sweetener, try incorporating stevia into your summer tea. Liquid stevia works best in iced tea, and you only need a few drops to really taste it. Be careful not to overuse as the flavor of stevia can be quite overpowering in large doses. Also, if you have a stevia plant, try crushing the leaves and steeping them with your tea.
Ginger adds an interesting spice to your summer tea and can give it that refreshing zip that tickles the back of your throat. Peel a small piece of fresh ginger and roughly chop it, then add during brewing. The ginger flavor will permeate your drink without diminishing the other delicious flavors.
Watermelon is the quintessential summer fruit, but it is also an excellent tea additive. Freeze small watermelon cubes and use them in the place of ice to chill your drink without watering it down. Watermelon and mint are excellent friends and can be combined in a summer tea to great effect.
Almond milk or Coconut milk
Who says summer tea can’t be refreshing and creamy? Instead of splurging for that expensive and unhealthy iced coffee, get your chilly caffeine fix with a bit of milk. Use your favorite nut or plant milk instead of processed cows milk to cut down on the sugar and keep to a dairy-free diet. Almond, coconut, or oat milk are all delicious in darker teas such as English Breakfast, chai, and rooibos. Add a drizzle of honey as well for the optimal treat.
What is your favorite summer tea addition? Let us know in the comments below!