We all know Martha Stewart reigns supreme in the kitchen. But when she's not busy cooking her famous roast chicken or baking up 30 pies for holiday guests, the TV star can be found mixing up some refreshing sips to go along with her snacks. One of her go-to's? A nice, cold glass of iced tea. More specifically, her signature red iced tea.
It boasts a vibrant ruby color courtesy of Celestial Seasonings' Red Zinger tea, a flavorful blend of fruity hibiscus leaves, peppermint, lemongrass, sweet orange, and cherry bark. Stewart tells Today it's one of her favorites because it's "refreshingly citrusy and so invigorating." It also perfectly sets the stage for her surprise zesty additions: Some slices of fresh citrus fruit.
In order to brighten up the tart and earthy base of Red Zinger tea, Stewart's red iced tea recipe calls for one whole orange and one whole lemon, sliced and mixed into the pitcher. But the fruity ingredients don't just serve as a garnish; the tart lemon brings out the flavors of the hibiscus leaf, peppermint, and lemongrass, while the juicy orange adds some refreshing sweetness to the whole batch.
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The Simple Method Behind Red Iced Tea
According to her website, Stewart has iced tea brewing down to a science. While she shares a few ways to experiment with the beverage, from combining different tea blends to allowing the sun to help steep the tea, her recipe for red iced tea is simple and straightforward.
In order to make a batch with at least six servings, Stewart's recipe calls for 6 cups of water and four Red Zinger tea bags. After boiling the water and allowing the tea bags to release their flavor for about five minutes, transfer the liquid to the refrigerator to cool for an hour. Once the tea is sufficiently chilled, you can prepare the citrus fruits. Stewart recommends slicing both the orange and lemon into quarter-inch slices, adding them to a pitcher with ice, and then pouring in the cooled tea. After giving it a quick stir and adding some mint sprigs as a garnish, you should end up with a robust, fruity, and slightly tart iced tea creation.
While the flavorful drink makes for a refreshing summer beverage, you can certainly enjoy it year-round. But if you want to warm it up a bit for winter, you can also use it as a cocktail base. The fruity and herbaceous flavors of the citrus and hibiscus lend themselves well to boozy spirits like gin or rum. Simply add a splash of your favorite liquor to create a spiked version. We're sure Stewart would approve.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.