Thursday, August 8, 2013

Hot Days Call For Cold Tea

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It's hot in Texas.

But I really shouldn't complain. Until this week, we've only had a handful of days hit the 100 mark, unlike the past few summers' 60+ days. 

But I will complain. Because I don't like the heat. Give me 70 all day and I'll be a happy camper.
So what's a southern girl to do when it hits 105?

Make mint tea, of course.



Sweet, icy cold, refreshing mint tea.
It is so good. 

And slightly addicting. Hence the reason I use decaf tea and Truvia. I like to avoid sleepless nights and bouncing off walls.




I grow mint every year in my garden. It tends to take over the bed, but I'm ok with that. All the more reason to make mint tea daily. If you don't have any mint growing, be sure to plant some next spring. One little plant will give you enough mint to make a pitcher of tea every day all summer long. And you wouldn't want to waste all that mint, right?

A couple notes about my recipe. I usually use a blend of a little bit of sugar and 6 packets of Truvia. That makes it sweet enough for my taste, but doesn't leave any weird aftertaste. I used to make it with 1/2 cup regular sugar, but then I felt the need to limit myself to one glass to avoid excess sugar. Feel free to sweeten it with the sweetener of your choice to your own personal taste.

The somewhat strange ingredient you'll see is apparently common in some parts of the country, but I had never heard of it until recently. The tip to add baking soda is a genius idea I found somewhere on Pinterest (can't remember for the life of me where, but thank you, random citizen!). It makes a huge difference in removing the bitter taste tea can sometimes have. And I proved it in a blind taste test, because I'm weird like that. The baking soda tea won hands down.

And I know tea enthusiasts will think I'm crazy for brewing my tea for an hour or more, but it's just my method. It never gets bitter thanks to the baking soda, but always has so much flavor.

Now that that's out of the way, let's get brewing.


Mint Tea
Makes 1/2 Gallon

  • Fresh mint (I clip about 15 sprigs, but it's not an exact science)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 family sized teabags (Luzianne decaf is my personal favorite)
  • 1/2 cup sugar OR
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar + 6 packets Truvia
  • 8 cups water, heated to boiling
  1. Remove the mint leaves from the stems and place the leaves in a large brewing container. I use an 8 Cup Pyrex measuring cup.
  2. Add the baking soda and the sweetener(s) of your choice to the mint leaves.
  3. Pour about a cup of the boiling water over the mint. Using a wire whisk, muddle the mint just like you would for a mojito. Basically you just want to smash the mint to release the flavor. It will smell amazing! If you have an actual muddler, feel free to use that. I don't, hence the whisk.
  4. Add the remaining hot water and your tea bags.
  5. I let mine brew until it cools to room temperature, usually at least an hour. I've let it brew only 20, and it's been good, but lacked a little mint flavor. And I've forgotten about it and left it sitting for  2 hours or so, and it's been good. So don't worry about setting a timer; just try to let it cool.
  6. Remove and squeeze the tea bags and strain your tea through a fine-mesh wire strainer into a pitcher.
  7. Pour over ice and enjoy! Keep the leftover tea in the fridge (if there is any!).




So refreshing!



I hope y'all enjoy!

Linking up to Thrifty Thursday on LWSL


2 comments :

  1. I ADORE mint tea in the summer, SOOOO hot here in Florida, too. I use stevia to sweeten mine and decaf tea, too. I'm way too caffeine sensitive nowadays.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who's sensitive to caffeine!
      I'm slowly but surely making the switch to using all stevia. I give myself time to adjust to each deduction of sugar, but eventually I'll be sugar free! At least in my tea...

      Delete

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