Winter is here, the Christmas tree and lights are up and all of the family is back home again. That in itself fills me with a sense of peace and gratefulness. This year has been tough for a lot of different reasons but at the end of the day seeing the faces of the people that have stuck by through thick and thin makes it all worth it.
Of late my spirits have been lifted and I’m back to experimenting and trying out new things. I happened to stumble upon this recipe of Orange Iced Tea with a homemade orange syrup on the immensely popular blog ‘Thoughts over Chai’. Tasneem’s colorful images and her description of the drink made me want to get right to prepare one myself.
I think this syrup would go really well with hot tea as well. This season is probably not the best time to try it out but for me, the colors, the aroma and the flavors of the tea have a certain holiday charm to it. I have included the recipe below which has been slightly modified from Tasneem’s recipe.
Orange Iced Tea with homemade orange syrup
Original recipe credit: Tasneem Rajkotwala, author of Thoughts over Chai
- The peel of 2 oranges taking care not to peel off the white part of the skin (orange pith)
- 3 cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon of broken cinnamon chips (or 1/3 piece of cinnamon stick)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
Black Tea (for 2 cups of tea)
- 2½ cups of water
- 1 tbsp loose tea (2 tea bags)
- a few sprigs of mint leaves
- Ice cubes
- Add sugar, orange peels, and spices to water in a medium-sized saucepan. Turn on the heat to medium-high. Stir the sugar water till the sugar is dissolved and comes to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and allow the sugar water to thicken as it simmers for 3 to 4 minutes. Turn off the heat and once moderately cool transfer the syrup (spices and all) to a medium-sized glass container. You can strain the orange peel and spices if you wish. I just think that it helps in adding more flavor to the syrup.
Orange Iced Tea
- In a medium-sized saucepan bring water and mint leaves to a boil. Turn off the heat and add the loose tea or tea bags. Cover the lid and let it steep for 6-7 minutes.
- Layer a tall glass with ice. Add around 4 tbsp of the orange syrup or as per taste. Strain and pour the steeped black tea over the layer of sugar and ice. Enjoy!