Ahhh spring is definitely here… I was even able to bust out my flip flops over this past weekend 😀 To me, warmer weather means making a LOT of sweet tea. It’s my addiction. Seriously. I can’t get enough of it. I love to add different flavors to my tea, and this one is one of my favorite flavor combinations… lemon and rosemary sweet iced tea!
Some of you are probably out there thinking, “okay, I’m good with the lemon… but rosemary? Are you crazy?!”. I know, I know… rosemary isn’t exactly common in a sweet drink… but ohhhhh it’s so good. It provides just a hint of flavor and accentuates the lemon in the tea.
This isn’t so much of a recipe as it is a method, because really, you can use this same method to add any flavor to your tea that you’d like!
What you’ll be doing is making a simple syrup (using equal parts of sugar and water) and then infusing the syrup with lemon peel and rosemary sprigs. I love to use a simple syrup when making sweet iced tea, because it ensures that there aren’t any undissolved sugar particles floating around… I don’t want to take a sip and be drinking gritty tea (gross man!).
Start by slicing off some sections of the lemon peel. I’m sure you’re all not as accident prone as I am in the kitchen (because really, I’m terrible!), but just in case, be careful here you guys! Now add 1 1/2 cups of water to a small saucepan, and pour in 1 1/2 cups of sugar. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Add in your lemon peel and rosemary sprigs and continue to boil for a few minutes, until the sugar dissolves and the liquid is clear. Carefully pour the syrup into a container to cool slightly.
Now you’ll be making your tea. Just think of this as making a cup of hot tea, just on a larger scale 🙂
Don’t worry if you can’t find these or just prefer to use what you already have… just use about 5-6 regular tea bags 🙂
Place your tea bag(s) in the bottom of a large pitcher and pour about 6 cups of boiling water over the bag. Let it steep for about 5 minutes or so (the longer it steeps, the stronger it will be). Remove the tea bag, remembering not to squeeze the tea bag. (squeezing the bag will make your tea have a bitter taste)
Pour your lemon and rosemary infused simple syrup through a strainer and into your tea, add about 2-3 cups of cold water to the container and stir to combine thoroughly.
I think this tea is a perfect amount of sweetness, but if you’d like it sweeter, use more sugar (so maybe 2 cups of sugar and 2 cups of water), or use less for a less sweet tea 🙂 However you adjust the sugar, just remember to keep an equal ratio of sugar and water for your syrup.
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Lemon and Rosemary Sweet Iced Tea
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cups water
- Peel of one lemon
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 gallon size iced tea bag or 5-6 regular size tea bags
- 6 cups boiling water
- 2-3 cups cold water
- lemon wedges and fresh rosemary sprigs to garnish
Use a paring knife to slice the peel off a lemon, set aside with fresh rosemary sprigs.
Add 1 1/2 cups of sugar and water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Add in lemon peel and rosemary sprigs and continue boiling for a few minutes, until mixture is clear.
Pour syrup mixture into a container to cool slightly.
Place tea bag in the bottom of a large pitcher and pour boiling water over the top. Let tea steep for 5 minutes, then remove tea bag (remember, don't squeeze!).
Pour in cooled syrup mixture (through a strainer to catch the lemon peel and rosemary), add cold water and stir to combine thoroughly.
Place pitcher in refrigerator to cool.
Serve cold, over ice, and garnished with a sprig of rosemary and lemon wedge, if desired.