Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Watermelon Sweet Iced Tea

Sweet iced tea infused with a watermelon puree.

Watermelon Sweet Iced Tea

I was browsing through some old cookbooks recently and ran across iced tea made with watermelon more than a few times. I have to say that I was intrigued. I love my iced tea method, and I love flavored iced teas too, but admit the thought of a watermelon iced tea seemed, well... a little odd to me. I really wasn't sure if I would like it to be honest, but with watermelon season here, I was game. Not only did I find that I liked it, I ended up loving it.

I happened to have a seeded watermelon in the fridge so that's what I used, and it worked fine, even using my Ninja blender. By the way, has anybody noticed that the seedless watermelons don't seem to taste right this year? I love eating watermelon in the summer because it is such a cooling food, so we pick up one at least once a week when they're in season - sometimes seeded, sometimes seedless, always local - but the seedless ones that we've had this year have an off texture and taste to me. Could be coincidental I suppose, but I thought it was noteworthy considering they came from different farms.

Anyway, I processed the watermelon chunks in my Ninja in two batches using the tallest pitcher.

I was a little concerned that the Ninja might actually pulverize the seeds, but it pureed the watermelon nicely and left the seeds intact. I'm telling y'all I am loving this kitchen appliance. The first batch gave me about 4 cups, and I got another 2 cups out of the second batch of chunks.

Since I didn't really want pulp in the tea, I pressed the puree through a strainer to extract mostly the juices. I have 3 different sized strainers and I find that I use them all the time - another handy kitchen tool to have around!

The tea I did a bit differently from my usual method this time, although I did use Luzianne tea bags. Instead of doing the concentrate that I pour over ice for a half gallon, I thought that I would make a simple syrup with the water and then steep the tea in that. I did a cup of sugar for what amounts to almost a gallon of tea, and was pleased with the sweetness level, though you may need to make adjustments to your own tastes for that.

The watermelon tea was very refreshing and I really enjoyed it. I think it's a nice addition to the iced tea collection here, and I hope that you enjoy it too. Here's how to make it.

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Recipe: Watermelon Sweet Iced Tea

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 15 min | Yield: About 3-1/2 quarts

  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 quarts of filtered water
  • 6 individual tea bags (Luzianne preferred)
  • 12 cups of watermelon cut into chunks (about 6 cups puree)

Add the sugar and water to a large saucepan, bring to a boil and boil until sugar is completely dissolved and mixture is clear. Remove from the heat, add the tea bags to the sugar water, cover and steep for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, puree watermelon chunks in a blender or food processor in batches; strain and transfer to a gallon pitcher. Remove tea bags and add the tea to the watermelon puree. Do not add ice. Stir and pour over ice filled glasses.


©Deep South Dish
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Posted by on September 11, 2012
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