It may only be the beginning of April, but temperatures in sunny NJ were well over 90 degrees today (which, I believe, is a record high)!

That being said, a sea change has occurred in the minds of tea drinkers everywhere: from hot to iced.

To ring in the iced season, I thought I’d share a delicious, refreshing iced tea recipe!  Here goes:

good bloodyThe Bloody Earl of Orange, an Iced Tea

1 cup blood orange juice

1/2 cup turbinado sugar (the “in the raw” stuff)

2 cups water

4 teaspoons earl grey reserve

3 cups sparkling water

1/2 cup blood orange slices

Ice

In a small saucepan, bring the OJ and sugar to a boil over medium-high heat; simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. This should take 5 minutes. Cool this syrup for at least 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in small saucepan bring water to a boil. Add tea leaves and remove from heat. Allow to steep for 5 minutes, then cool until room temperature.

Mix tea and syrup in a pitcher. Refrigerate.

Pour sparkling water into pitcher. Add orange slices. Pour into 4 glasses.

(note: a little splash of gin, vodka, or your favorite spirit wouldn’t hurt in there!)