Honey-Vanilla Iced Tea with Raspberries

As a continuation of the foodbuzz.com Daily Special Posting Challenge, this week I was inspired by the Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Vanilla, which was one of the Daily Specials. I didn't have this exact product, so I did a little brainstorming. The first thing I thought about was baked goods, however it's getting hot here in the south and I didn't want to heat up the oven. So, I thought about a cool summer favorite, iced tea, and how I could add a vanilla aspect to it. I didn't want to use an extract, so I perused the tea section at the store and found a vanilla herbal tea. The tea I found was Celestial Seasonings Honey Vanilla Chamomile, which besides its namesake flavors has orange, chicory, licorice, and lemongrass in it. Any vanilla tea would do, such as vanilla rooibos, which is another favorite of mine. Like the recent Fresh Strawberry Lemonade post, I thought fruit puree would be a nice counterpoint to this tea. Because of the floral flavor of honey, I chose to add a fruit with a floral flavor as well, so I chose raspberries. This is a refreshing drink perfect for warm weather and looks elegant garnished with more raspberries. The flavor reminds me of red zinger tea, but with even more flavor because of the raspberry puree. If you're running short on time, just use bottled raspberry juice.

Honey-Vanilla Iced Tea with Raspberries
Printable Recipe

2 quarts water
6 vanilla tea bags, any variety
1 cup thawed frozen raspberries
1/2 cup honey

ice and whole raspberries to garnish

1. Boil 4 cups of the water and add it to your pitcher along with the tea bags. Steep for at least 5 minutes, or until the water becomes infused. Remove the tea bags and chill the tea.
2. Add the raspberries to a blender and puree. If the blender doesn't seem to be pureeing the raspberries enough, add a little bit of the tea to get it going.
3. Sieve the raspberry puree into a medium measuring cup in order to remove seeds. Blend in the honey. Add the raspberry-honey mixture to the tea, then add the rest of the water. Chill. Serve with ice and whole raspberries as garnish.

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