Sunday, July 20, 2008

Cooling Off Tip: Frozen Green Tea Lemonade


One of my favorite summer coolers is Starbucks' Frozen Lemonade and Green Tea. At $3.69, though, I won't be drinking one every day—as I like to calculate the cost of a gallon of something, I also like to calculate the cost of a month's worth of something. A Starbucks lemonade every day for a (30-day) month comes to $110.70.

Who in the hell needs a $110 lemonade bill every month?

Not me, that's who.

So, I set about some internet surfing, and talking to employees of other places that serve expensive frozen lemonades (Panera) to get a few tips for making my own. I've hit on a recipe for a refreshing drink that almost mirrors Starbucks' in flavor. It has ZERO calories, and only two ingredients:

Tazo Zen Green Tea (Starbucks uses this; it is infused with lemongrass and spearmint)
Crystal Light Lemonade (Powdered beverage. I know. It's beneath me...but there's no sugar in it. And it tastes good. So there.)

The trick is to make these double strength; it keeps the ice from watering down the flavor too much.
  • Make a pitcher of the lemonade using only 1 quart of water.
  • Make a quart of tea using 3-4 tea bags.
  • Toss some ice in the blender, pour in 1 part tea and 1 part lemonade (or however many parts of each that you prefer), and blend, baby blend!
I'm not crazy about a gooy sweet drink on a hot summer day, so this one really fits the bill. The mint tea cuts both the tartness and the sweetness of the lemonade, and even my inexpensive home blender does the trick well enough that the icy drink lasts forever.

When I sent the recipe to Melissa, she replied back, "add a shot of vodka, and I'm there." She may be on to something, don't you think?

Stay cool, kiddies!

18 comments:

  1. Well, yum!
    I'm off to buy the ingredients. It's going to be 95 here today!

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  2. Urbana girl9:32 AM

    Where does one get Tazo Zen green tea??? Thanks--

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  3. I found it at Schnucks. Walnut Street Tea Co. might have it also.

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  4. I'm with Melissa! Cheers!

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  5. How delicious does that look!?
    I think that sounds like a great drink for our barbeque this weekend.. we may even take Melissa's suggestion into consideration lol

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  6. Sounds refreshing but what we really need to know is how much does it cost you to make per serving?

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  7. I like the pomegranate thing I bought at Starbucks once. Off I go to do a little investigating myself.

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  8. DBA: Of course, why didn't I think of it myself?

    33 cents for one serving. 1/10th of the Starbucks price.

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  9. Laurie: Pomegranete lemonade with raspberry sweetener is what my Aunt ordered last time we were there; it IS good. Let me know if you hit on a recipe!

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  10. I was about to tell you to make it extra strength but I see you already figured that out. Her is another tip. If you can remember to do this, as it is freezing, shake it up from time to time. That will improve the texture and keep it mixed. I am making some to take with me to the Saturday Market. I use Crystal Light

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  11. Greg: I've considered freezing one or the other also, and using those cubes instead of ice, to keep it from watering down.

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  12. Good thinking - and excellent advice from Melissa!

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  13. You rock! I love this stuff and totally can't afford to drink it as often as I'd like.

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  14. Ok, I feel like a moron. I went to Starbucks (specifically after reading this post and DROOOOOLING) and I got a green tea lemonade cooler. But it wasn't frozen. What am I supposed to order? I didn't see it on the menu anywhere. :(

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  15. Mary: Ok, I think the secret password is

    "BLEND."

    which I think is code for "put it in the blender with some ice, will ya?" although I did have to tell one of the barrista's that I wanted the frozen one, and a whole lot of hubbub ensued because I either hadn't said "blend" or he hadn't heard it, but I caught him just pouring me a liquid one...

    The hubbub being when he ran around asking me what the price difference was for pouring it over ice and blending it...

    Just another reason to make it yourself!

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  16. Great minds think alike! I recently made the same discovery, including making my crystal light lemonade double strength. I sweeten my green tea with a little splenda sometimes to keep it sugar free. I like the frozen idea, I haven't tried that yet. And with the heat index here in Birmingham at 101, I thing I'll go break out the blender now!

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  17. Anonymous7:34 PM

    Thank you! I am addicted to these and I am spending way too much money on them!

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  18. I like the pomegranate thing I bought at Starbucks once. Off I go to do a little investigating myself. where can i buy matcha green tea perth

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