Spiked Hibiscus Iced Tea by Killing Thyme

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Words, photo and recipe by Dana at Killing Thyme.

Though I’m known for my boozy sangrias, there’s a new punch in town; let’s just say that “tea time” has reached a brand new high.

This brew is refreshing AF and gives off floral notes mixed with lemony bits and earthiness. The addition of fresh mint adds a soothing cooling effect.

(Oh, and did I mention the blueberry vodka?)

With some lemon simple syrup, sweetening is totally flexible, as it should be with tea. I drink my tea black in the morning, so I prefer my spiked tea to NOT taste like a candied fruit drink; you could even skip sweetening altogether.

Serves 8

Ingredients

Iced Tea
  • 1/4 cup Arbor Teas Organic Hibiscus loose-leaf tea
  • 8 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup blueberry-infused vodka
  • 1/2 cup lemon simple syrup
  • 1 cup ice cubes
Lemon Simple Syrup
  • 1 cup unrefined sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3-4 lemons
  • 1 TBSP lemon zest avoid the pith
Garnishes
  • Edible flowers
  • Fresh mint sprigs
  • Lemon wedges
Materials
  • If using loose-leaf tea, you will want a T-sac see notes
  • heat-resistant glass pitcher
  • Sieve or cheesecloth

Directions

Lemon Simple Syrup
  1. Zest the lemon until you have a full TBSP, then juice the lemons until you have approx. 1/2 cup of freshly squeeze lemon juice.
  2. Combine the juice, water, and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a light boil over moderate heat. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, and cook until the sugar is dissolved, stirring often, approx. 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and add the lemon zest. Set aside to cool for ten minutes.
  4. Once cooled, run the syrup through a sieve or cheesecloth to get rid of the zest bits. Set aside.
Preparing the Tea
  1. Put your loose-leaf tea into a T-sac, and place it at the bottom of your heat-resistant pitcher.
  2. Bring 4 cups of water to a boiling point of 212° F. (If you don't have a thermometer, you can estimate. Once the water comes to a rolling boil, you should be at your desired temp of 212° F.)
  3. Carefully pour the hot water into the pitcher over the tea-filled T-Sac, ensuring that the tea is covered with water completely. Steep for 7-10 minutes.
  4. Remove the T-sac from the pitcher.
  5. Add 1/4 - 1/2 cup of the simple syrup to the tea, plus 4 cups of room temperature water. (You can adjust sweetness as you go). Stir well. Set any extra simple syrup aside.
  6. Allow the tea to cool on the counter, at room temp, for about 10 minutes.
  7. After that, add the vodka and stir well.
  8. Finally, add the ice, and place the pitcher in the refrigerator. (This allows the tea to cool gradually. Cooling your tea too quickly will result in a cloudy tea, but it doesn't affect the quality or taste. So, if you do want to quickly cool your tea and you end up with a cloudy tea, don't fret; sip away!)
  9. Prior to serving, you can rim some glasses with sugar (optional), fill them with ice, and toss in some fresh sprigs of mint. Pour in the iced tea, and garnish with lemon wedges; add edible flowers if you have them.
  10. See notes about extra sweetening.
Recipe Notes
  1. You can purchase T-sacs on Arbor Teas Website here. For pitchers of iced tea, a 'Size 4' sac is recommended.
  2. Because tea drinkers all enjoy their tea differently, I find it helpful to have extra simple syrup available on the side in case anyone wants to add some extra sweetness to their glass. It's always better to sweeten your pitcher less; you can always add some sweetness, but you can't take it out once it's in there.

Recipe by Dana at Killing Thyme

Spiked Hibiscus Iced Tea by Killing Thyme