I’m a water drinker. I don’t like sugar, colors, or flavors in my beverages. When I go out to a restaurant with friends, I’m always the odd ball with my drink. Water, that’s it… or unsweetened iced tea. Most waiters get it, and will brew me some hot tea and throw ice in it. Some don’t believe when I say “unsweetened” and bring along an over-sugared bottled tea, and once I was asked if I wanted sugar in my unsweetened iced tea (my husband had to remind me to close my mouth when the waitress asked me that.) So, I try to keep things simple and just go with water.
So, you can say that I like my iced tea to be pure. Why add anything to a perfect flavor? Sure, some fresh lemon, maybe even a sprig of mint goes well, but sugar? Bleh.. I don’t like sugar in my tea. I have to admit, I’m a little lazy when it comes to brewing my own tea. There is something about having someone else make it that makes it taste THAT much better. I know you know what I mean- like when you try to recreate that awesome sundae from your favorite ice cream shop but it just doesn’t taste the same, even though you used all the same toppings. Or when you try to make your favorite soup from your mom’s recipe but it just doesn’t taste like hers. So when I saw Pure Leaf Iced Tea on the shelves, I knew this was something I had to try.
I’ve tried a variety of bottled teas but there is always something missing. There really is a difference between fresh brewed tea and tea that has been preserved to last in a bottle. When I browsed my local supermarket circulars, I saw a sale for Lipton Pure Leaf Iced Tea. It caught my eye because it was different, so I put it on my list to see what was really in it. Typically I see things like high fructose corn syrup (which is banned in my home) or preservatives. So when I picked up a bottle of Pure Leaf Iced Tea it was refreshing to see that there were simple ingredients: tea and sugar. I brought it home and was impressed by the refreshing taste and subtle sweetness of the tea.
I never thought of adding iced tea to other beverages because I’m very simple when it comes to drinks. I’m always interested in finding mixed drinks that aren’t so plain, but I often come up short. Now that I found a bottled iced tea I love, I’m ready to try adding a few things to make it a little more interesting for summer get-togethers. Of course, there is the infamous Long Island Iced Tea, but any Long Islander will tell you that there is no tea in it, so that doesn’t count. I headed over to the Pure Leaf Facebook Recipe Tab to get some ideas. The Raspberry Mar-Tea-Ni caught my eye and I decided to put my own spin on this drink. You can find the recipe below from Pure Leaf, but I changed it by using Pure Leaf Iced Tea with Lemon, I substituted the lemon juice with pomegranate juice and added a splash of white rum. Ok, I added a little more than a splash and it was too tart, so I had to start over and add JUST A SPLASH of white rum this time. The drink was delish!
There is so much more you can do with Pure Leaf Tea, including Pork Chops and soup! Check out the recipes below:
Pure Leaf-Inspired Cocktails
DERBY DAY TEA-LEP
Prep Time: 5 minutes
3 ounces Pure Leaf Sweetened Iced Tea
3 lemon slices
6 large mint leaves
In highball glass, add mint and then crush. Add two lemon slices and fill glass with ice, Pure Leaf Sweetened Iced Tea. Garnish with one lemon slice.
Tip: For a special twist, add 1 ounce Kentucky bourbon
GREEN TEA COSMO
Prep Time: 5 minutes
3 ounces Pure Leaf Green Tea with Honey
1 ounce orange juice
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce cranberry juice cocktail
In shaker filled with ice, combine all ingredients. Shake well, then strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish, if desired, with lime peel.
Tip: For a special twist, substitute 1 ounce vodka for 1 ounce orange juice.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
1 large lime, quartered
6 large fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup sugar
16 ounces Pure Leaf Green Tea with Honey
2 cups chilled seltzer
In glass pitcher, squeeze lime, then basil and sugar. With wooden spoon, thoroughly crush against side of pitcher; add lime rinds.
Stir in Pure Leaf Green Tea with Honey.
Just before serving, add seltzer and pour into ice-filled glasses.
Tip: For a special twist, substitute 1 cup light rum for 1 cup of the seltzer.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
16 ounces Pure Leaf Iced Tea with Lemon or Pure Leaf Unsweetened Iced Tea, chilled
2 cups frozen strawberries
1 cup fat free vanilla ice cream
1 tablespoon sugar
In blender, process all ingredients until smooth. Serve immediately in tall glasses and garnish, if desired, with fresh strawberries.
Servings: 4 cups | Prep Time: 5 minutes
16 ounces of Pure Leaf™ Iced Tea with Raspberry
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 slices lemon
8 fresh blueberries
Shake 1/2 bottle of Pure Leaf™ Iced Tea with Raspberry and 1/2 of the lemon juice in shaker filled with ice, then strain into two chilled martini glass. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Garnish with lemon and blueberries.
Tip: For a special twist, substitute 1/4 cup vodka for 1/4 cup lemon juice.
Pure Leaf-Inspired Dishes
TEA-MARINATED PORK CHOPS
Developed in collaboration with The Feisty Foodie
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Marinate Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 15 minutes
16 ounces Pure Leaf Unsweetened Black Tea, divided
4 boneless pork chops (about 3/4-inch thick)
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons margarine or butter, divided
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Pour 1 cup Pure Leaf™ Unsweetened Black Tea over pork chops in large resealable plastic bag. Close bag and marinate in refrigerator at least 1 hour.
Remove chops from marinade, discarding marinade. Season chops with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Melt 1 tablespoon margarine in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and brown chops. Remove chops; set aside.
Melt remaining 1 tablespoon margarine in same skillet, then stir in flour until blended. Slowly stir in remaining 1 cup Tea and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook, stirring frequently, 1 minute or until sauce is thickened. Reduce heat to low, then return chops to skillet. Cook, turning once, 3 minutes or until chops are done. Serve chops with sauce and garnish, if desired, with chopped parsley.
For more from The Feisty Foodie, go to http://feistyfoodie.blogspot.com.
TEA EGG DROP SOUP
Prep Time: 15 minutes
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) chicken broth
16 ounces Pure Leaf Unsweetened Iced Tea
2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
In 3-quart saucepan, bring broth, Pure Leaf Unsweetened Iced Tea and soy sauce to a simmer. With fork, gently stir in beaten egg until egg is cooked. Stir in green onions.
Disclosure: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Lipton Pure Leaf. I received product samples and a promotional item to thank me for participating