With our British roots, we know a good cuppa can be a cure-all any time of day, but when the weather gets hot, iced tea is the favourite summertime sipper. Why not perfect your own homemade iced tea with these easy tips:

• Make sure you use enough tea bags so it is not too weak. Use 6 to 8 bags for every 2 quarts of water, and use good quality tea such as orange pekoe.
• Be sure to boil the water, not just heat it, and let the tea bags steep for about 10 minutes.
• Once steeped, don’t squeeze the tea bags before discarding; it can add a bitter flavour.
• Some people prefer to mix tea in 1 quart of boiling water and then add 1 quart of cold water.
• Try mixing herbal tea bags with black tea for different flavours and less caffeine.

• Fresh mint. Drop several sprigs in the jug after adding the water.
• Fresh-squeezed lemon juice to taste, about ⅓ cup plus lemon slices.
• Sugar – about ½ cup for every 1 quart.

Want to kick it up a notch? Serve iced tea as a refreshing summer cocktail with these easy recipes from Tea-riffic.com.

Spiced Rum Iced Tea

5 oz. iced tea (We recommend using an unflavored black. Make a quart of iced tea and use that as your base.)
1¼ oz. spiced rum
½ tsp. lemon juice

Combine iced tea, rum and lemon juice. Serve over ice in a highball glass.


Iced Tea with Vodka

Plan ahead with this recipe as it should be made the day before you use it.

2 cups vodka
6 tsp. black tea leaves
2 glass bottles or jars with lids

Mix vodka and tea leaves in a jar, and shake a couple of times to combine. Place in a cool, dark place for 24 hours. Strain out the tea leaves by pouring through a strainer into a second jar. Store in the freezer and serve ice cold.


Tiger Tea

4 oz. cold tea (already prepared by the quart. Unflavored black or green tea would work. You also might try this with a fruit tea.)
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 dashes aromatic bitters
1 tsp. sugar syrup (recipe below)
1½ oz. cognac

Mix ingredients and serve over ice with a lemon slice.


Sugar Syrup

2 cups water
2 cups sugar
Heat sugar and water together in a saucepan until sugar dissolves. Stirring, bring to a boil and let boil for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Store syrup in a covered container in the refrigerator. Great for sweetening all kinds of tea drinks.