This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Ghirardelli Intense Dark. The opinions and text are all mine.
As summer winds down, raise the flavor level by pairing Ghirardelli Intense Dark chocolate with this naturally hydrating & thirst-quenching Cherry Lemon Iced Tea!
When I was in India, iced tea was a new kind of drink which had started to get a lot of attention from college goers of our times. Some of my friends would drink iced tea because they felt it looked like alcohol, which they were not permitted to consume. Oddly enough, I never tasted it for the same reason – I felt it had alcohol in it! While I grew to understand that this was not true, I kind of developed a negative opinion about it. When I would hang out with my friends after college, some of them would order an iced tea while my bestie and I would always order an iced coffee. She was the one who got me hooked onto iced coffee and just recently she encouraged me to try my first iced tea! On my last trip to India, I visited her in Pune. We reminisced and caught up over some iced coffee she made for me. Later in the day however, she insisted that I taste her iced tea.
I simply loved it! I also felt sad that I had missed out on this drink all these years. Don’t get me wrong, iced coffee still reigns supreme as my choice of beverage, but iced tea tasted really good. So many of us miss out on wonderfully delicious things because of misconceptions. My lesson was well learned! Though KR is not a big fan of iced beverages, I wanted to make it for him once I got back to Florida. When I had the opportunity to work with Ghirardelli Intense Dark chocolate, I felt it was the perfect opportunity to pair this intense, complex and perfectly dark chocolate with iced tea. Chocolate is everyone’s favorite. Quoting Kramer from Seinfeld – “Oh you may stray, but you’ll always return to your dark master, the cocoa bean” – a simple truth that is well spoken :)! The deep flavor of Ghirardelli Intense Dark chocolate pairs so well with the sweet tea!
There’s a certain joy in eating chocolate as is, savoring every bite and letting the flavor wash over your tongue, yum! Kicking back with some Ghirardelli Intense Dark chocolate and iced tea is exactly what I do to unwind and savor the moment! So, off I went to my local Publix. I picked up a couple Ghirardelli Intense Dark chocolate bars in Sea Salt Soiree and Intense Dark, 92% Cacao Moonlight Mystique, along with some red cherries. BTW, if you are a lover of dark chocolate, here is an offer that you can’t resist – From 9/16/19 – 10/16/19, you can get $1.00 off any TWO (2) Ghirardelli INTENSE DARK Chocolate Bags (4.1 oz. or larger) OR Bars (3 oz. or larger) at Publix! Do check it out, Ghirardelli chocolate has exquisite flavor, you won’t be disappointed!!
I did a lot of research and made multiple attempts at nailing the recipe. I would love to share some of the tips and tricks I learned in the process. You can use loose tea or tea bags to make iced tea. I tried making it with both and ended up liking the tea bag version more. For basic iced tea, calculate one tea bag per one cup of water. Use filtered or bottled cold water to begin with. Do not steep the tea for a long time. If you steep longer, the tea will develop a bitter flavor or become too strong. Steep for 5-8 minutes and then taste every 30 seconds and stop when you have the desired flavor. Don’t add raw sugar into a chilled iced tea. Always add the sweetener while the tea is still steaming so it dissolves fully. Add ice to the tea right before serving. Now let me share with you how I make Cherry Lemon Iced Tea, which is influenced by my friend’s recipe. First, wash the cherries well, then discard the stems and chop them up.
Throw away the seeds too. In a thick bottomed saucepan bring water to boil. Then add cherries, mint leaves, star anise, sugar and vanilla extract. You can use agave nectar or simple syrup instead of sugar. Stir until the sugar or agave nectar dissolves. Then reduce the flame and let it cook for 30 minutes on low. Mash the cherries while they’re cooking. Take the cherries off the flame and rest them covered for an hour. Now is a perfect time for you to quickly enjoy a bite of Ghirardelli Intense Dark chocolate! Later, strain the mixture and transfer it back to the saucepan. Bring the cherry mixture to a boil over moderate heat. Remove from the heat, add the tea bags and let steep for 5-8 minutes. Discard the tea bags and let cool to room temperature. Transfer the cherry lemon tea to a large pitcher and refrigerate until chilled. Serve in chilled glasses with ice cubes. Garnish with lemon slices and mint leaves for a beautiful display and enjoy.
Pair this Cherry Lemon Iced Tea with Ghirardelli Intense Dark chocolate for an afternoon tea party or brunch event! This drink can also be served at parties, on date nights, on a girl’s night or you can simply sip on it as you go along with your day. For added indulgence, add a dollop of vanilla ice cream to each glass before pouring the iced tea on top. If you do try this recipe, please do share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. This will keep me motivated to develop more interesting recipes. Click a pic and post it with the hashtag #cookiliciousveg . I would love to see your pictures on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 star anise cloves
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 7-8 mint leaves
- 12 red cherries
- 2 black tea bags
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- ice cubes as required
- additional mint leaves for garnish
- First, wash the cherries well, discard the stems and chop them. Throw away the seeds.
- In a thick bottomed sauce pan bring water to boil. Then add cherries, lemon juice, mint leaves, star anise, sugar and vanilla extract. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
- Reduce the flame and let it cook for 30 minutes. Then mash the cherries while cooking. Take it off the flame and rest it covered for one hour.
- Now is a perfect time for you to quickly enjoy a bite of Ghirardelli Intense Dark chocolate!
- Strain the mixture and transfer it back to a saucepan. Bring the cherry mixture to a boil over moderate heat.
- Remove the mixture from heat, add the tea bags and let it steep for 5 minutes. Discard the tea bags and let cool to room temperature.
- Serve in chilled glasses with ice cubes. Garnish with lemon slices and mint leaves for a beautiful display and enjoy.
- Pair this Cherry Lemon Iced Tea with Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate for an afternoon tea party, brunch event, or any occasion!
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If you like serving an interesting mix of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks at your parties, then here are some I would recomend for you to serve – Fresh Guava & Watermelon Non Boozy Summer Drink, Tropical Orange Strawberry Spritzer & A Non Alcoholic Party Drink!, Indian Watermelon Cooler , The Ultimate Detox Drink with Berries & Lime!, Indian Summer Drink – Tomato Jal Jeera, Sparkling Cranberry Pomegranate Drink, 4 Ingredient Mango Mastani Drink Recipe, How To Make Cold Cucumber Soup Shots This Summer!, Spiced & Chilled Thandai Milkshake | Dry Fruit Milkshake, Healthy Cantaloupe Berry Breakfast Smoothie Shake and How To Make The Perfect Indian Masala Chai | Tea.
Also remember, from 9/16/19 – 10/16/19, you can get $1.00 off any TWO (2) Ghirardelli INTENSE DARK Chocolate Bags (4.87 oz. or larger) OR Bars (3.5 oz. or larger) at Publix! Discounted chocolate tastes extra special, so go get yours today! 🙂