I absolutely adore iced tea. Indeed, part of the reason I was so enamoured with Hong Kong is the fact that tea-based soft drinks are available everywhere over there. All the same, it’s always been my favourite thing to do to make my own. This freshly devised recipe is probably going to become one of my favourites!
- Chinese jasmine tea bags
- Lychee juice
- White sugar
- Rose syrup
(I haven’t pinned down the ideal exact proportions yet, so feel free to dabble and experiment. Usually, it’s best to make each batch slightly differently anyway. )
- Take four tea bags, place into a glass jug and add slightly over half a litre of boiling water. Leave the tea bags in the mixture and allow it to cool (placing the jug in a sink full of cold water can help speed this up!).
- Remove the tea bags and add sugar (I usually find around heaped 2 teaspoons per bag is ideal, but feel free to add more or less depending how sweet you like your drinks).
- Add a dash of rose syrup and stir well so that both syrup and sugar dissolve. Note, different brands of rose syrup vary wildly in strength, so be careful not to add too much!
- Top up to 1 litre with lychee juice (fresh is ideal, but shop-bought lychee juice works just as well).
Voila! One litre of lychee iced tea! Well that was easy…
So as you may have guessed by now lychee, jasmine tea, and rose all share common flavour compounds which combine together deliciously effectively. Incidentally, while I’d normally use unrefined cane sugar, in this case I suggest white. Sugarcane has a flavour all of its own, but in this case the flavours of the lychee and the jasmine are subtle enough that it’s best not to distract from them. White sugar is essentially flavourless, making it ideal in this case.
The main flavour compounds of the ingredients are as follows (with shared components highlighted in bold:
Geraniol, guaiacol, vanillin, 2-acetyl-2-thiazoline, 2-phenylethanol, (Z)-2-nonenal, β-damascenone, 1-octen-3-ol, isobutyl acetate, (Z)-rose oxide, isovaleric acid, furaneol, and linalool.
Linalool, methyl anthranilate, 4-hexanolide, 4-nonanolide, (E)-2-hexenyl hexanoate, and furaneol.
β-damascenone, β-ionone, (-)-rose oxide, (-)-carvone, rose furan, (-)-Citronellol, C14 – C16 paraffins, geraniol, nerol, 2-phenylethanol, methoxy eugenol, eugenol, farnesol, and linalool.
With that many flavour compounds in common, it’s no wonder they work so well together. It’s actually hard to discern where one flavour ends and the next one begins. I think this refreshingly simple drink is one of my favourite creations yet!