Beth Dreiling Hontzas

Southern Living’s food editor swears by them.

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It’s hot out, so I am not going to bury the lede, people. I have found the secret to the most delicious iced sweet tea: Tazo Organic Spicy Ginger tea bags.

“Spicy?” you ask. “Why would I want spicy iced tea?”

Don’t be put off by the name, this absolutely refreshing herbal tea is not spicy at all. Ginger does add a nice kick, but the heat is more of a pleasant background note and not overpowering. (Think: ginger ale.)

WATCH: How to Brew the Perfect Cup of Tea

 

Ginger is a delightful match for the other aromatic ingredients in this tea: orange peel, fennel, and licorice root add warmth and sweetness, lemon verbena adds a bright zing of citrus, chamomile adds soothing floral notes, and green rooibos tea adds grassy freshness. When combined, you’ve got a brew that smells so heavenly you might be tempted just to stand there and inhale.

But really, you should drink it—preferably chilled, over ice. I like tea that can stand up to a few ice cubes without tasting too watered down, so I make my iced tea on the stronger side, using one tea bag for about six ounces of water (a little less than a cup). I bring the water to a simmer, add a little sugar (I start with ½ cup sugar for two quarts of water—adjust as needed), and stir until the sugar dissolves. Then I toss in the tea bags and let them steep in the water for five to 10 minutes. When removing the tea bags, I like to squeeze them into the tea to get out every last drop of flavor. Chill the tea in the refrigerator and serve over ice.

Even if you’re not usually a fan of flavored iced tea, give these tea bags a try. They have completely changed my iced tea game and I can’t praise them more highly. If you see me on the street I might just slip you one.