Cherry Limeade Iced Tea

Food and beverage inspiration can come from many sources. Our best friend, the divine Jen Check, came down to visit us this past weekend, to watch me in my 2nd triathlon - the Danskin SheRoxTri. Whenever Jen comes to visit, it's always a cause for a celebration or party. Add in my triumphant completion of a difficult triathlon turned duo-athlon and you have even more reasons to celebrate. Jen stopped at Sonic on her way into Philadelphia and bought a Sonic Cherry Limeade. I love Sonic and the only one in the area is at least 1/2 hour away by car. It's not a place I think about going. Sonic is more of a vacation guilty pleasure for us. If we are in the Southwest, we go to Sonic for the drinks and the sheer 1950's nostalgia. The food is okay, it's more of the experience that I like. As for the drinks, Sonic definitely wins big over all fast food enterprises. Our Colorado cousins will often make Sonic drink runs just for the great concoctions. So inspiration for my version of a cherry limeade iced tea was brought on by Jen Check and the need to have a signature drink for our post-triathlon barbecue celebration. Don't know why I didn't think of this one sooner - it's far better than the syrupy version you can get at the drive-in and you can customize it with Rum, Vodka or Tequila! Boom! Drink Up!

Cherry Limeade Iced Tea Ingredients:
  • 8 Black Tea teabags
  • 8 Cups (2 quarts) Cold Water
  • Juice from 4 to 6 Limes - about 1 Cup of Lime Juice
  • 1/4 Pound of Bing or Black Cherries
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
Equipment needed:
  • 3 or 4 Quart Pot to boil water
  • Juicer or Reamer
  • Cherry Pitter or knife
  • Gallon Pitcher
Directions:
  1. Bring 2 quarts of cold water to a boil and steep in the 8 black tea teabags for 15 minutes. Remove and discard the teabags and allow the steeped tea to cool.
  2. If using fresh limes, roll them whole on a cutting board to break up the membranes before cutting them in half - this will yield more juice. Juice the limes and add the juice to a large pitcher, preferably a gallon sized pitcher. Discard all but 3 or 4 lime halves. Add the juiced lime halves to the pitcher. Set aside.
  3. Pit the cherries and cut the pitted cherries in half or quarters. Add the cut cherries to the lime juice.
  4. Dissolve 1/2 cup sugar in the cooling tea, this way it will dissolve faster. Otherwise, if you prefer not to have a sweet tea, skip this step. You can alternatively make a simple syrup by heating equal parts of sugar and water together until the sugar dissolves. Cool and set aside, allowing your guest to add as much or as little sweetener as they desire.
  5. Once the steep tea has cooled, dilute it with 4 to 6 cups of cold water, depending on how strong you want the tea. Add the cherry-limeade mixture to the diluted tea. Taste and adjust sugar as you need - making it sweeter if you prefer. Remember that the best way to add sugar to a cold beverage is to dissolve the sugar first - turning it into a simple syrup.

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