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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sweltering Summer Days: Lemon (or Lime!) Mint Tea Recipe

I don't know about you guys, but it's HOT here in Mississippi. Who am I kidding? It's ALWAYS hot (and FREAKING HUMID) every summer in the South. Ugh.

In order to stay cool on these horrendously hot days, I make iced tea! Being the southerner that I am, it's gotta be sweetened, of course! To tell you the truth, I got out of drinking sweet tea for over a year since I moved out of my old place. My old roommates used to drink (VERY) sweet tea like water! I would watch my roommate brew sweet tea and pour an ENTIRE highball glass (12 ounces!!!!) of sugar in the pitcher.

I've been experimenting with different tea concoctions the last few weeks and my favorite is to brew green (or black) tea with peppermint tea since it adds a nice hint of minty-ness and refreshing taste. My husband HATES tea (he only drinks milk and water and very rarely some juices) so I get the entire pitcher to myself!

Alright! Let's get started!

First, let's get your supplies together:

- Pot with lid
- Pitcher to hold the tea
- Spoon for stirring
- Peppermint tea bags (1-2 small bags)
- Green (or black or Lipton is fine) tea bags (4 small bags)
- Half a lemon (or lime)
- Rock sugar (or regular sugar or sweetener of choice) - 1/2 cup (more if you'd like it sweeter)

Next, fill the pot with water. I used 2 liters of water but you can adjust accordingly. You can use a tea pot but I find it easier to put the tea bags in a pot to brew.

Set on stove and bring to a boil.

While the water is boiling, I like to prep a few things. I get the tea bags out of their packets and snip the strings on them so they don't get all tangled while brewing. 

Next, I measure 1/2 cup of rock sugar (or regular sugar) and pour into the empty pitcher. I've never used sweeteners like Stevia or Splenda so you can adjust the amount of sweetener as you see fit. I tend to like my tea very lightly sweetened so this may not be sweet enough for the true southern sweet tea fan.

Then, I slice half the lemon (or lime) into thin slices and set aside. I usually put the other unused half into a small storage container and stick it in the fridge till I make more tea. 

So, once the water comes to a rolling boil, put in all the tea bags.

Turn OFF the heat and stir the tea bags to spread them out.

Let the tea bags steep for a 5 minutes. You may steep as long or short as you like. 

After 5 minutes have passed, remove the tea bags from the tea brew and throw out. I've seen interesting posts on using tea bags for facial toner but that is a post for another day.... I just chunk them.

Next, I pour the brew into the pitcher. It is quite difficult take a photo while pouring VERY hot liquid one handed.

Stir until the rock sugar/sugar/sweetener is completely dissolved.

After the sugar is dissolved, add the lemon (or lime) slices and slightly stir to release the citrus-y juices.

Optional: Add ice if desired. Chill in the fridge for upwards of 4-6 hours or until cold enough to be refreshing and drinkable! You can even garnish with fresh mint leaves when serving for extra minty-ness! 

There you have it! A refreshing lemon (or lime) mint tea for those sweltering summer days!

Ahhh.... refreshing!

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