Orange & Black Tea Fizzy Drink

September 5, 2010 § 1 Comment

The events of this past week have become jumbled in one rather large smear, like an action shot taken on a slow shutter speed.   I’ve moved twice, started intensively training for my first race (!), jumped, full-throttle into a few terrific work projects and got 8 hours of sleep over the course of three days.  Somewhere in there I also turned 23!  Because my life was a bit zippy, I didn’t have much time to pick up my spatula and whip out the ol’ cast iron.  Suffice it to say, my meals have been positively scintillating: I’ve scooped my way through two yogurt containers and I consumed somewhere in the ballpark of 13 peaches.

But today made up for a few too many yogurt bowls of yester-week:  I sauted carrots for a bean salad flecked with dill and lemon, picked maroon eggplants from the garden to slap on the BBQ, roasted tomatoes with heirloom garlic to top a summery salad…  At 1:45pm, our little table teetered with colorful bowls and steaming plates, smelling of smoke and charcoal.

While dishes circled around the table, we sipped this delightful, bubbly drink, tweaked from the Food Network.  The original recipe calls for sugar, which has been swapped out for agave nectar (a natural sweetener that doesn’t require any sort of melting as it dissolves immediately in liquid).  Feel free to tinker.  Initially, upon skimming Giada’s recipe, I figured this sweet drink would yield six, modest servings (six cups of liquid, afterall).  But on this hot, late-summer day, we sipped our way through the entire pitcher by the time the double-decker birthday cake shuttled out of the refrigerator.

Ingredients:
2 cups water
7 bags black tea
1 cup orange juice, fresh
3 cups seltzer water
1/4 cup agave nectar

Method:
At least 6 hours in advance, bring 2 cups of water to a boil.  Remove water from heat and add tea bags; steep for 20 minutes, then discard bags.  When concentrated tea has cooled to room temperature, add orange juice and chill.  Just before serving, add seltzer water and agave nectar (to taste).

Diet Notes: gluten-free, vegan, nut-free

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