What To Do If The Berries In Your Iced Tea Fell Apart

Iced tea is the perfect summertime drink to quench your thirst on a hot day, and nothing makes a glass of this beverage more elegant than adding some beautiful, seasonal fruit. Peaches and lemons make for a lovely flavor, as do mangoes, pineapples, and all the summer berries we know and love — blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries. These fruits don't just look nice floating in a glass, they can also infuse their unique qualities into the tea as it brews to create a sweet and fruity taste. 

However, all fruits aren't created equal and the more delicate and fragile types often lose their shape and fall apart after being submerged for a while, turning your glass or pitcher into a murky mess. Luckily, there are ways to ensure this mishap doesn't take away from your iced tea enjoyment. If you find your berries are not holding up, your first line of defense is to strain them out and add fresh ones right before serving. Of course, if that sounds too wasteful, there is another option you can try so you can have your berry tea and drink it too. 

Use frozen berries

Unfortunately, moisture is the enemy of most fresh berries and once they get overly soggy, as they do in iced tea, it's game over. So, how do you outwit the inevitable? It begins with how you wash them. When you are cleaning your fruit, especially those raspberries and blackberries that tend to spoil more quickly than strawberries and blueberries, it is important that you do not wash them until you are ready to use them. Avoid running water over your precious cargo — instead, prepare a water bath in the sink (or a large bowl) then submerge a colander full of berries so water isn't beating down on their delicate exterior.

But perhaps the best way to keep your berries looking pretty is start with the freshly frozen variety. Adding frozen fruit to your iced tea will help delay it from becoming a mushy mess. Of course, it has the added benefit of keeping your iced tea cold, and as your frozen berries defrost in your tea, they will not dilute your brew the way plain old ice does.