Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cool n Refreshing Minty Iced Tea

There is no better beverage to enjoy during the hot summer months than fresh brewed iced tea. I can't even tell you how long I have been enjoying this beverage but I can tell you its been a long time. My mother has always had mint growing in her yard, which she got from my grandmother who in turn always had mint growing in her yard, so the mint we had been using over the past 20 years or so came all from one small plant transplanted from my grandmother's garden. Now I have my own yard, but the mint I am using was already here when I bought the house and looks much different than the kind that I was used to seeing, it is frilly and large leafed and very pretty to look at!

Spearmint on the right Peppermint on the left
Now, you might be wondering what kind of mint to use right (and if you are not wondering then here is the time to start!)? I personally like spearmint in iced tea (Think Orbitz Sweet Mint Gum) and if I don't have enough in the yard then I would use peppermint of which I also have a ton! I like spearmint though because it has a sweeter flavor while peppermint is, like its name suggests, more peppery but cooling. Anyways, use whatever you have as long as it is fresh, do not try to use dried mint. If you are lucky to have a yard, buy only one small plant from a local farm and plant it someplace where it can be contained so that you too can be blessed with this lovely herb year after year, but please keep in mind that it can end up being an invasive weed if not properly contained.

Now onto the tea! I use regular black and sometimes green tea, but really you can use anything you like, as long as its not strongly flavored with fruits or spices, you can be as simple as a few lipton tea bags too, its that easy!

Here is how I do it:

4-6 Tea bags
1 bunch of spearmint, leaves and stems lightly crushed

Brew the tea bags in some warm or hot water in a large pitcher, doesn't have to be boiled, about 5 minutes. Add the mint and some water to fill to the top. The tea will continue brewing and the mint will permeate throughout the tea yummm. I would say after a full day if you still have tea leftover, remove the leaves as they can start to rot.

Thats it, that is all there is to it! As you see, I didn't add any sweetener, but you can add as much or as little as you want and I will leave it at that, just dissolve it in warm water first so you aren't chewing your tea.

One of the saddest moments of the year is when my mint withers to the ground, but it does give me something refreshing to look forward to in the spring. If only I could grow a pot of this indoors....hmmm..

Enjoy over ice!

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