Since we’ve been living in the South again we’ve been drinking quite a bit more tea than we did during the 4 years we lived in Colorado. I don’t know if it just feels right again – I mean let’s be honest, Colorado has tea (and very good tea at that!) – or if it’s a cultural thing or what.
As in most things, good memories always center around good food and good drink. Some of my favorite memories from college were conversations with my friend Sarah on the porch at McAlister’s at 19th and University. We would sit for hours and chat over endless cups of the good stuff, then go back to our apartment and wonder why we were so wired late into the night. Turns out black tea has caffeine – just so you know 😉
Mint has been another memory-maker for this Texas gal. When we were growing up in the summers my mom would always plant these amazing gardens full of tomatoes and strawberries and zucchini. Another big plant we always had was mint, and my parents fully convinced us that we could drink the nectar from our neighbor’s honeysuckle bushes and chew the freshly washed mint leaves and call it dessert. To this day I can have both and just call it good!
Here’s the thing that I’ve discovered with tea lately: when I make it like this (in the recipe below) it’s a complete vacation in a glass. I can sit back and sip it while the rest of the world is going crazy and just feel like I’m sitting on a deck somewhere listening to water lap up on a shore beside me. It’s sweetened with stevia because I don’t love the aftertaste of simple syrup, but the key is the mint. It sweetens the whole batch naturally on its own and is incredibly refreshing!
SWEET MINT TEA
Makes 2 quarts
- 2 quarts water, divided
- 4 iced tea bags (6.4 g each) – I got mine at Kroger
- 1/4 cup whole fresh mint leaves, washed and dried
- 1 Tbsp stevia – I use Stevia in the Raw
Bring 1 quart of the water to a boil. While the water is boiling, place the mint leaves into a 2-quart pitcher. Using the handle of a large spoon bruise the mint to release the oils and flavor in the mint leaves. Add the tea bags to the mint leaves, pour the hot water in, and set a timer for 5 minutes. As soon as the timer goes off, remove the tea bags and the mint leaves, and discard. Add the stevia and the remaining quart of water, stir, and then refrigerate until time to use. Serve cold over ice!