If you do happen to make the mistake of telling me about an impending trip to Panchgani at this time of the year, well, there’s no way that I’d let you get away without bringing back kilos of strawberries for me. Kilos, yes, kilos, because that’s just how unapologetically greedy I am for fresh strawberries that make a guest appearance during the winter in India. And while my Mum would use the berries to make her year’s supply of strawberry jam (which I would frugally share with you for having lugged the cargo for me), I, on the other hand, am always on the lookout for ingenious recipes to show off these lovely strawberries in all their glory.
You could argue that there’s hardly anything inventive about Strawberry Iced Tea, and being a kid of the Snapple era, I’d agree with you wholeheartedly… but would you just take a moment to gawk at these fresh strawberries adorning my balcony? Let’s just give them a chance in a thirst-quenching drink, shall we?
As much as I love strawberries, I’ve always found them a little too sour in India, though one might get lucky with a tart and sweet batch every now and then. A little bit of foraging on the internet tells me that this is the general condition of strawberries in India because of the timing of when they are picked. This is why we end up countering their sour flavour by adding more sugar in this adapted recipe than our counterparts in other countries might need to.
And then of course, there is the issue of cold tea drinks requiring more sugar than hot tea drinks – you can easily tackle this by allowing the brewed tea to cool completely before getting on with the mixing of the sugar and lemon juice. In situations such as these, caster sugar is your best bet… granulated sugar would take far too long to dissolve. But all of this depends on the sourness of the strawberries… so while the original recipecalled for a variation between ¼ to ½ cup of sugar, I’m going to extend that range from anywhere between 1/3rd to 3/4th cup caster sugar. Adjust the sweetness of this drink as you make it just like you would adjust flavours while making Thai curry and you’ll never go wrong! Off we go…
Makes 4 to 6 servings.