June is Iced Tea Month, and I think we should celebrate with a cooking demonstration!
There are lots of ways to add flavor to iced tea without sugar, but many people still think of it as a bitter and unpalatable drink. End the misconceptions by demonstrating just how easy it is to make delicious iced tea at home.
Here's What You'll Need:
- A way to make yourself heard. Consider using a lavaliere microphone for hands-free volume boost, and bring fresh batteries, just in case!
- Printed handouts with your recipes -- enough for each attendee to get a copy.
- Your ingredients, pre-chopped and measured into clear bowls and jars. No one likes to watch people measure each ingredient.
- Tea bags
- Brewed tea
- Fresh fruit
- Decorative ice cubes (if using)
- Tea brewing supplies (pot, way to heat water, etc)
- The packaging of any ingredients that you would like to highlight.
- Any cooking supplies you might need. Think spoons, whisks, carafes etc.
- Cups for samples, if you're offering them.
- A way to keep things chilled until you're ready to present them.
Here's What You'll Do:
Before the Demonstration:
- Pick your tea recipe and mix-in flavor boosters. Write out a plan for your demo, then read it through in its entirety to make sure that each step is clear and makes sense to you.
- Contact the facility where the demo will be held. Find out what the room is like and what equipment (refrigerator, freezer, stovetop, etc) is available to you.
- List all the food and equipment you'll need. Make sure it's easy to gather everything the day of your cooking demonstration.
- Practice your demo for an audience. Friends and family are often happy to help with this part.
- Test your supplies (especially your microphone, if you're using one).
- Brew the tea that you plan to reveal, chilled, during the presentation. Chill it.
- Arrive well before the demonstration and set up your space.
At the Demonstration:
- Introduce yourself.
- Explain what the demo will cover today, and why. (Is it because of Iced Tea Month? A fun way to pep up drinks without added sugars and empty calories? A great summer treat? What works for you?).
- Highlight the flavor boosters. What are they? What qualities make them perfect for your tea? How will you combine them for maximum effect?
- Demonstrate how to brew the tea in order to get proper flavor intensity. If you're featuring dried spices like cinnamon or nutmeg, show how much to add to the pot and when (along with the teabags, followed by a good stir).
- Put your pot of steeping tea away, state how long the tea will take to steep and cool, then reveal your already-brewed-and-cooled second pot of tea.
- Discuss the flavor profile of the tea you plan to make today. How much of each item should be added? When?
- Fill a cup with the ice, fruit, and herbs you plan to use, then pour in the tea. Garnish with extra fruit or a pretty straw. Ta-Da!
- Distribute samples of the flavored tea (you can set up tiny cups ahead of time, or fill a third pitcher with fruit, ice, and herbs and use that). What are the flavors? Is this something they could sustain at home? What would make it easier to have healthy drinks on hand?
You could also set up a bar with sliced fruits and herbs and let people assemble their own (this makes it more of an activity than a demo). What combinations are the most popular? Why?
And there you have it! A fresh cooking demonstration for Iced Tea Month! For even more cooking demo tips and tricks, check out this brand-new printable handout!
Plus, here are some other fantastic cooking demonstration resources...
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Stephanie Ronco has been editing for Food and Health Communications since 2011. She graduated from Colorado College magna cum laude with distinction in Comparative Literature. She was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2008.