This drink was created as an attempt to reproduce a mocktail I had in a Lebanese restaurant years ago. It was a hot day, and I wanted something special, not too sweet but very refreshing. And did they deliver on that wish! This was no Arnold Palmer! It had layers of flavors! An exotic subtle orange scent, a different kind of sweetener, pieces of perfectly ripened fruit. To be honest, if I was stuck on an island and had to chose one cold drink, this ice tea mocktail would be my choice.
Type of tea
It is best to use a nice fruity tea that has some black tea. Some of our favorites are:
Peach Lemon tea and Cranberry Blood Orange tea.
The first one is herbal caffeine-free and the other has black tea.
Both have lots of dried fruit pieces that are such a treat!
It is best to use loose tea because for one, you will want to make several batches from the same tea and second, tea bags often don’t have the same quality as loose tea.
Another one of our favorites is Maui Mango Tea because it has lots of chunks of dried mango, orange and pineapple! It is the most wonderful assortment. All natural! Just the good stuff!
The next ingredient is truly heavenly. It is orange water. You can buy it in most Asian grocery stores and online. A few drops will transform drinks, desserts. It is a game changer when it comes to unique flavors. It is used in most middle eastern desserts and drinks.
For sweetener, you can use agave, even maple syrup although I feel it has too strong of a flavor for this delicate cocktail. But my absolute favorite liquid sweetener is date syrup. If this is the first time you hear about it, you must try it. You can find it in most natural food stores and online. It is only liquefied dates, nothing else has been added. Did you know that 1 tablespoon of date syrup has twice the amount potassium, magnesium and calcium of maple syrup and honey? Dates are also a major source of antioxidants. They have a delicate flavor and make you feel satisfied. Who doesn’t like dates right? Next time you have a craving for something sweet, grab a date!
When it comes to fruit, you can add oranges, Peaches or mango slices. And don’t forget to mince some fresh peppermint leaves.
When you make your first batch (1-2 tablespoons of loose tea), don’t let the tea steep too long, 1-2 minutes is fine. I used a good size tea pot. Trust me, you will be making several batches with the same tea for yourself and if you are entertaining, your friends!
Next, add 1-2 tablespoon of date syrup and stir.
Next, add 1 tablespoon of orange flower water and stir again.
Taste and adjust the level of sweetener.
Cut slices of oranges, peaches, or mangoes and set aside.
Load your pitcher with ice cubes and pour the hot tea.
Add some more water if needed.
Pour in individual glasses with more ice cubes, place a few slices of fruit in each glass and sprinkle with some freshly minced mint leaves.
It is mocktail time!