Raspberry-basil tea spritzer recipe

Fresh basil, raspberries and iced black tea for a refreshing spritzer. Photo: Elizabeth Urbach.

Now that the hot summer weather has reached San Jose, people are looking for refreshing, cooling recipes to help them enjoy the season and keep hydrated. Sweetened soft drinks and alcoholic beverages are very popular locally, but it’s a good idea to have some healthier drinks around, and you’re not limited to plain water! Iced tea makes a great base for cool summer drinks, and can substitute for alcohol in many recipes. Try adding iced black tea to a sangria recipe instead of the wine, or making a refreshing tea punch or spritzer that all can enjoy.

To make a spritzer, add iced tea, fresh fruit, sweet herbs or citrus zest and sweetener to taste, and top it with carbonated water in a glass of ice, and you have one of the most refreshing and healthy, not to mention delicious, summer beverages! Here’s an example:

Raspberry-basil tea spritzer
5 fresh raspberries
1 fresh basil leaf
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
1 cup prepared iced English Breakfast tea, chilled
½ cup carbonated water, chilled
fresh lemon zest for garnish
ice cubes

Cut or tear the basil leaf into small pieces and put in the bottom of a 2-cup measuring cup with the raspberries and sugar (if using). Use a spoon to mash the berries and basil together, and mix thoroughly. Pour the iced tea over the fruit and basil, and let it sit for at least 10 minutes to infuse the flavor into the tea. Pour the tea mixture into a glass filled halfway with ice, and top with the carbonated water. Add lemon zest and an ice tea spoon or a straw, and enjoy! Serves 1.

This recipe will work with bagged or loose tea, flavored or unflavored tea, iced tea made by the traditional or the cold-brew method, sweet basil or mint, any kind of sweetener or none at all, and sweetened or unsweetened carbonated water! Try using black tea, green tea, oolong tea, white tea, or an herbal tisane as the tea base; jasmine green tea or rose-scented black tea will be delicious additions. Look for almost over-ripe berries or stone fruits at the farmer’s markets this time of year; very ripe, soft fruits will mash easily in the bottom of the glass, and they actually have the best flavor. Try peaches, apricots, nectarines, strawberries, blackberries, boysenberries or cherries; red raspberries and blueberries make wonderfully festive tea spritzers in patriotic colors, perfect for the 4th of July or any summer afternoon! With the variety of herbs and fruit available in San Jose this time of year, and the flavored and unflavored teas and carbonated water in local supermarkets, you have an almost unlimited choice of flavors for your spritzers.

Copyright 2012, Elizabeth Urbach

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For more information:
White Tea Sangria recipe
Iced Tea Sangria with Fresh Fruit recipe
Jasmine Iced Tea Sangria recipe
Orange Mint Tea recipe
“Iced tea in mixed drink recipes”
“National Iced Tea Day: 20 Refreshing Iced Tea Cocktails”
“Another tea cocktail for the horse-racing fans!”
“Tea tasting 101: characteristics of a good-quality black tea”
“Is it too warm to sleep? Try soothing orange-blossom mint tisane”
“Celebrate the Fourth of July with a tea party picnic!”
“What should I keep in the pantry for tea parties?”
“How to use edible flowers for tisanes”
“Review: Amandine Decanter by Teavana”
“Greet the summer in San Jose with iced tea during Iced Tea Month”
“Iced tea and how to make it”
“Cool off with tea ice cream”
“Tea 101: How to brew a pot of hot tea using loose tea”
“Bottled tea may contain fewer antioxidants than freshly brewed tea”
“Different types of Chinese black tea available in San Jose”
“Chinese oolong tea in San Jose”
“Tea and food pairings for black teas”
“Use tea as a holiday champagne substitute”
“The Elixir of the South: sweet tea”
“Review: Twinings Irish Breakfast Tea”
“What are the different kinds of green tea available in San Jose?”
“Memorial Day in San Jose calls for iced tea”
“5 teas for San Jose’s beer fans”
“San Jose kids can spend a summer afternoon with tea and books”

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2 responses to “Raspberry-basil tea spritzer recipe

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