Summer Beverages: Spicy Iced Tea

icetea.jpgEveryone loves iced tea, right? Wrong. Growing up – and indeed until very recently, I could never abide the stuff. When I was young, iced tea was that muddy brown powdered mix that looked about as appetizing as – well, mud. Is it any wonder that it took decades for me to purge that vision (and taste) out of my mind? Or it was that stuff that sat out for hours in the sun (didn’t everyone make sun tea in the 70s?) and by the time it was ready, I’d already had a soda or lemonade or water.

Now, I’ve come around the iced tea way of life. But I prefer my iced tea with some bite to it. So I offer you this spicy variation on iced tea to try at your next picnic, brunch or just next time you need something a tad lighter than iced coffee.

And yes, it’s more involved than grabbing a container of (mud brown) powder and mixing it into water. But gosh, it’s not THAT much harder and the results are so much better.


  • 6 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 2 inch piece cinnamon stick (more or less depending on now much ‘bite’ you want your tea to have
  • 3 or 4 tea bags (again this is a preference call depending on how weak or strong you want to go and of course, the type of tea)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup orange juice (I use no pulp for aesthetic reasons – your mileage may vary)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (don’t both squeezing a whole new lemon. The bottled stuff is fine)


  • Combine water, cloves, and cinnamon stick in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
  • Place tea bags in spiced water, cover, and steep for ten minutes.
  • In another saucepan, combine sugar, orange juice, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil.
  • Strain tea into orange juice mixture.
  • Chill, serve over ice.

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