Fresh Peach Tea

The South's classic summertime sipper gets a fruity upgrade from sweet, peak-season fresh peaches.

Peach Tea
Photo: Jessica Furniss
Active Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
17 mins
Servings:
8

When summer's days seem hottest and longest, the orchards bless us with a bounty of fresh peaches. And between cobblers and ice cream, the cook's quest to quickly use the treasured fruit before it ruins is frenzied.

But as is true with so many fresh Southern fruits and vegetables, peaches rarely need a lot of fussing to reveal their true beauty. This peach tea recipe is proof of that.

Sweet tea, as essential as it is to Southerners, is dressed up with the fruity, flowery flavors of fresh peaches. It's subtle, but this peach tea recipe is not weak. We call for just 5 minutes of steeping the fruit, but you could go a few minutes longer for an even more robust flavor.

Brew a pitcher of this fresh peach iced tea before a barbecue or weekend family dinner, and we think your crew will agree that there's sweet tea—and then there's peach tea.

Ingredients

  • 8 ½ cups cool water, divided

  • 2 family-size tea bags

  • 3 cups chopped unpeeled ripe peaches (about 4 medium)

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Directions

  1. Bring 3 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Remove pan from heat and add tea bags. Cover and steep for 10 minutes.

  2. Combine peaches, sugar, and ½ cup water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cook until peaches are very soft, about 5 minutes, mashing occasionally with a potato masher. Strain peach syrup through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing on solids with the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible.

  3. Stir remaining 5 cups water into steeped tea. Remove and discard tea bags. Combine tea, peach syrup, and lemon juice in a large heatproof pitcher. Serve tea over ice.

The pulp that's left in the sieve at the end of step 2 is too tasty to toss. Depending on the ripeness of your peaches, it will be either the texture of applesauce or relish. Either way, it's delicious stirred into oatmeal or pancake batter, or blitzed into a smoothie.

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