Summer is here and it is HOT! I made a trip to Las Vegas this past week, and it was about 107 degrees Fahrenheit (42 degrees Celsius) during the day, and at least 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) during the nights. Needless to say, I spent most of the trip indoors where the air conditioning was blasting, and ironically, ended up wearing my cardigan to fight the freezing indoor temperature. I didn't get to wear any of my summer dresses because it was too hot to go outside, and it was too cold to wear them inside. It was a strange situation.
I've been turning to a lot of iced drinks to stay cool, and recently made an iced vanilla rooibos with honey. Rooibos has been one of my favorite teas because of its natural earthy flavor that I find refreshing and calming at the same time. I tend to keep a stock of it in my tea drawer too because it is caffeine-free, so I can enjoy it any time of the day or night. It's also packed with a lot of antioxidants, so drink up.
I used a flavored vanilla rooibos in loose leaf tea form and added a bit of honey for sweetness. I bought the vanilla rooibos already flavored from Tea Gschwendner, but you can probably make your own version by adding some vanilla bean pieces to a plain rooibos tea. If you would like an extra kick in your iced tea, you can also add in some vanilla extract after you brew the tea (so you don't cook away the alcohol). I would have tried it with my Vanilla Extract with London Dry Gin, except it's not quite ready yet.
The honey has a more aromatic sweetness that goes with the earthy tones of the tea. I preferred this over using white sugar, which would have given it a more harsh and direct sweetness. I also only used a small bit of honey so the vanilla flavor would stand out, but feel free to add more to taste. Just don't forget to brew the tea early, since it needs time to cool off in the refrigerator before serving!
- 2 tablespoons vanilla rooibos loose leaf tea - placed in an infuser
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 quart boiling filtered water
- Scoop the loose leaf tea into an infuser and place into a jar.
- Boil filtered water.
- Once the water is fully boiling, pour it over the infuser into the jar. Add the honey and stir lightly.
- Let the tea steep for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove tea leaves and discard.
- Refrigerate the tea until cold. Serve over ice.