Schedule a party and make a few pitchers of iced tea in different flavors. Photo of the luxurious Tea Over Ice iced tea set courtesy of TeaForte.com.
KAREN HOCHMAN is Editorial Director of THE NIBBLE.
Last Updated July 2010
Have An Iced Tea Party
Recipe Ideas For A Lovely Summer Event
Before summer ends, throw a memorable iced tea party—all the better if you have a lovely garden, but an indoor setting can be just as magical with the right Asian-themed music and fragrant flowering plants or cut arrangements. Explore local tea shops and online emporia like Adagio.com and Serendipitea.com for flavored teas, or steep your own using a base of black, green or white tea and the appropriate ingredients.
We’ve adapted these ideas from the iced tea menu at Ku Day Ta, a beautiful tea salon in Milpitas, California, outside of San Francisco.
Ku Day Ta has its own artisan recipes, and many tea shops sell flavored loose tea and bags from which you can make iced tea. If you want to try creating your own teas from scratch, we’ve appended suggestions. Read how to make tea, and our tips for making ice cubes from the brewed tea so as not to dilute the drink.
Iced Tea Menu Suggestions
Vary the offerings; have at least one black, one green and one herbal tea, for those who don’t want caffeine. If you want specific recipes for the concepts below, you can find them online. You also may want to brew a plain iced tea for people who just like their tea plain. Regardless of the recipes you find, don’t presweeten the teas with sugar. Instead, provide guests with the option of enjoying the tea unsweetened, or adding superfine sugar (it dissolves better in cold tea), agave syrup (also called agave nectar—it dissolves easily, is lower glycemic and less cloying than sugar, can be found in natural and health food stores) and non-caloric sweeteners.
- Cherry Iced Tea. Steep black or green tea with dried cherries. You can also use fresh or frozen black cherries.
- Citrus Iced Tea. Instead of lemon iced tea, mix fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice, with a bit of lemon juice for complexity. Delicious with black or green tea.
- Lavender Iced Tea. Lavender is fragrant and flavorful. You can steep dried culinary lavender (pesticide free or organic lavender) with regular tea. Delicious with black or green tea. You can also find lavender herbal blends.
- Lychee Iced Tea. If you can find lychee juice or syrup in an international market, blend it with green tea. Garnish with fresh mint.
- Mango Iced Tea. This is the best selling flavor at Ku Day Ta. Make it with mango nectar and black tea; garnish with fresh mint.
- Mint Iced Tea. No matter how you brew it—black, green or herbal—mint iced tea is a favorite. Garnish with a fresh lime wedge.
- Rose Iced Tea. Steep organic rose petals with green tea, to spectacular effect.
- Sage Iced Tea. Sage is said to harmonize the body and the mind. Steep fresh sage leaves with your choice of tea. Sage leaves brewed with hot water and lemon juice alone make a wonderful herbal tea.
Photo of iced tea at Ku Day Ta in Milpitas, California.
Make up a “menu” of four or more choices, depending on the number of guests, and brew and chill the tea in advance. You can give your recipes glamorous names—Luscious Lavender, Riveting Rose, Marvelous Mango, etc.
You’ll need some finger food for your tea party. Tea sandwiches and tartlets will hit the spot, but for special flair, include:
Invite the ladies to wear hats and give a prize of tea to the loveliest chapeau.