Recipe: orange blossom iced tea
August 1 is my sister’s birthday and I usually buy flowers for her, or rather for me to remember her. I didn’t buy flowers this year as my night-blooming cereus was loaded with several large buds. Two of them bloomed tonight, which I thought was fitting and wonderful. These flowers tie me to my family. They are supposed to symbolize luck when they open – just for one night. The house is filled with this beautiful fragrance. By daybreak they will close up and wilt… something special. Doubly special.
the buds at 6:30 pm
blooming at 11:00 pm
I’ve been feeling tired lately, which in all likelihood is related to the fact that I haven’t been getting enough sleep. My to do list finally caught up to me and punched me in the face. My sister’s birthday kicked me in the gut. Sometimes the best thing I can do is to walk away from it – maybe mentally, maybe physically. So today’s recipe is a soothing one. It’s a nice escape from the heat and it smooths out the furrowing of the brow.
sugar, black tea, and orange blossom water
This was the other beverage offered at Uchenna, a delightful Ethiopian restaurant in Colorado Springs (the first beverage being the rose water lemonade). It’s the one that I ordered because I absolutely fell in love with the flavor of the orange blossom water. I used a loose assam tea and let it steep on the longer side (to make it stronger) because I like my glass filled to the brim with ice.
make the tea
let it steep
It’s even simpler to make than the rose water lemonade. I found my bottle of orange blossom water at my local Whole Foods grocer, but you can probably source it in Middle Eastern or Indian grocery stores too. It is made from orange blossom petals and smells faintly of orange candy. You don’t need a lot, but it really lights up a glass of iced tea.
add orange blossom water to taste
pour over ice
I’m partial to iced tea as it is, but this version is a special treat for entertaining or to pick yourself up when you’re feeling low. If you’re looking for a different twist on a summer standard, maybe give this orange blossom iced tea a try.
add an orange slice
Orange Blossom Iced Tea
from this recipe
4 cups water
4 tsps good loose black tea (I used assam tea)
3 tbsps sugar
2 tsps orange blossom water
Bring the water to a boil. Place the tea in a tea pot or heatproof vessel and pour the hot water over the tea. Let it steep for 3-5 minutes. I tend to steep it for 5 minutes to make it stronger since I like my iced tea with a lot of ice. Strain the tea (discard the tea leaves). Stir in the sugar. Add the orange blossom water to taste. Fill a glass with ice and pour the tea over the ice. Makes 1 quart.
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