When warm summer days arrive, what is more refreshing than a delicious cool drink?
Being a tea and coffee drinking nation, adapting our favourite beverages is easy with a bit of pre planning and a freezer stocked with ice cubes.
- Make coffee using your favourite method (cafetiere / filter / espresso).
- Add a bit of sugar while hot. At this stage you can start adding flavours – a couple of cardamon seeds, a bit of cinnamon or a hint of vanilla for example.
- Once cool pop in the fridge to chill. Keep covered and this should keep well for a couple of days
- Once chilled remove any flavouring items and taste. If the coffee needs more sugar, add at this stage. You can then add milk, grated chocolate, whipped cream, a scoop of ice-cream, ice cubes and enjoy.
Fresh herbs from the garden:
- If you like herbs the simplest thing is to pick some leaves of your favourite herbs (one of the mints, lemon balm, rosemary, savoury, scented geraniums, sage etc).
- Just use the leaves and not the stalks. Rinse gently (so as not to bruise the leaves), to remove any small insects etc.
- Using a non metal container, pour boiling water onto the leaves and steep until flavour is to your taste.
- Adding a dash of sugar enhances the flavour.
- Experiment by mixing herbs (mainly peppermint with a hint of sage), adding some flowers (camomile, rose petals); using finely sliced lemon grass or freshly grated ginger; a slice / squeeze / zest of a citrus fruit..
- You need to experiment a bit as not all traditional teas are great cold.
- Choose your tea (Lady Grey, Darjeeling …), and boil some water.
- It is best to make up 1 litre or more. For this I find 3 tea bags work well.
- Pour the boiling water over the tea bags and steep until the tea is a bit stronger than you would normally drink it.
- Once brewed, remove bags and cool.
- Add ice cubes and drink. You may find a bit of sugar enhances the flavour.
- The tea will be a bit cloudy. this is caused by the tannins and nothing to worry about. Adding a squeeze of lemon can help clear the tea.
Water is really refreshing, just from the tap and chilled in the fridge. If you find this a bit boring, add one or more of the following to the jug and chill:
- Sprig of mint;
- rose petals;
- slice of lemon / lime / orange;
- piece of fresh ginger;
- crushed lemon grass;
- lemon balm;
- borage leaves;
- frozen raspberries
Whether you work in a warm office or are going for a walk, take your cool beverage in a flask (add ice) and sip on demand!