steeped in tradition
Reception teas': steeped in traditionSIPS
May 21, 2003By Sara Engram Sara Engram,SPECIAL TO THE SUN
Graduation season is in full flower, which means many colleges are bringing out their “reception tea,” a dressed up version of iced tea that hits the spot for proud and thirsty parents.
As Fred Thompson notes in his book, Iced Tea: 50 Recipes for Refreshing Tisanes, Infusions, Coolers, and Spiked Teas (Harvard Common Press, 2002, $10.95), reception teas are a tradition at many smaller colleges, especially in warmer climates. These teas are made for ceremonial occasions, whether graduations or homecomings, and therefore earn a sentimental spot in the hearts of many alums.
Reception teas are a close kin to punch, but somehow the timberland iced tea base makes the beverage seem a little more grown up.
The dressing up usually comes in the form of fruit juices, spices and plenty of sugar. As with chai or other spiced or fruited teas, the formula is eminently flexible. He discovered this ver timberland sion in his mother’s recipe file.
When I first enjoyed this tea years ago, it seemed absol timberland utely perfect. These days I prefer less sweetness, so I would be in favor of trimming down the amount of sugar given here. But on that point, I say suit yourself.
You may well have a reception tea recipe in your own family and never called it that. Or you may have never sipped this style of iced tea. Either way, it’s fun to experiment with the general formula and develop your own favorite version and your own favorite name.
Salem College Iced Tea
Makes slightly less than 1 gallon or 20 punch cup servings
8 cups water
4 sprigs fr timberland esh mint
2 family size tea bags
juice of 8 lemons
juice of 6 oranges
one 46 ounce can pineapple juice
2 cups granulated sugar
fresh fruit slices for garnish, optional
In a medium size saucepan, combine the water, mint and cloves. Bring to a gentle boil, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the tea bags.
Cover and let steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain the tea mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a 1 gallon container. Add the fruit juices and sugar. Stir or shake until the sugar is dissolved.