Monday, October 6, 2008

Pomegranate Irish Iced Tea

Ahh…tea, tea, tea. Wonderful indeed! I was literally baptized in the stuff and drink my favorite hot beverage at least 5 times a day, but I must confess, I am a bit of a tea drinking snob. Any old brand from the store just will not do, and the quest to find the perfect cup of tea here in Atlanta has led me back home. ..all the way home you might say….

Fortunately, after a lot of research involving tasteless teas, I discovered that Northern Ireland’s leading tea brand, ‘Punjana’ is now available in the US and be shipped anywhere in the US by The Ulster Kitchen. This is superb tea (am I biased?) and is blended in Belfast by a four generation family firm who consider quality their highest achievement. The differences between these authentic teas and the run of the mill brands from Kroger are amazing. You must taste the difference.

Of course, here in the South we also love our tea, and the popularity of iced tea can be appreciated at a whole new level when made with Punjana. The Ulster Kitchen’s Pomegranate Ice Tea was a big hit at a Women’s Expo promoting health, Lifestyle and Beauty held in Roswell Georgia this past weekend. Why I even had my husband and two sons promoting by giving out free samples in the warm Georgia fall sunshine to delight first time customers….photos may follow.

Tea has amazing health benefits including being a rich source of potassium, which is vital for maintaining fluid levels in the body and may help protect against heart disease and certain types of cancer. (Read more about the health benefits at
The pomegranate fruit containing tiny ruby red pearl like seeds is gaining popularity because of its health benefits also. he fruit is rich in antioxidants and contains folic acid, potassium, niacin, vitamin C, iron and calcium. So, go ahead and try this recipe for a fresh alternative to a wonderful drink.


Pomegranate Ice Tea with Mint

If you prefer to use fresh pomegranates cut them in half and juice as you would an orange. Strain any pulp or seeds. I like to use store bought juice and cheat by garnishing with fresh pomegranate red jewel-like seeds.

(Makes 1 gallon)

(Simple syrup)
1 cup sugar
2 cups water

10 cups (5 pints) natural spring water
8 bags of Punjana Irish Breakfast (decaf)
2 cups (1 pint) simple syrup
4 cups (2 pints) pomegranate juice
Mint sprigs (to garnish)
Seeds of one pomegranate (optional)

Make simple syrup by bringing sugar and water to a boil. Set aside and cool.
Use fresh drawn cold water and bring to a boil. (Re-boiling water takes the oxygen out and stops the tea from brewing properly).

Preheat tea pot. Place tea bags in pot and pour over boiling water. Brew tea for 1-3 minutes depending how strong you enjoy your brew. Remove tea bags and dispose.

Combine sugar syrup and pomegranate juice to cooled tea.

Serve over crushed ice in an ice tea glass. Garnish with a sprig of mint and a few pomegranate seeds. Enjoy!