November 25, 2009

Sweet Tea with Mint

Sweet tea is a southern classic but may be enjoyed even out west. Below is my version using mint leaves from a plant in my garden. Relax and enjoy!

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
8 cups boiling water
2 Family size Lipton Tea bags
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
1/2 gallon plastic pitcher filled halfway with ice cubes
lemon slices

Begin by adding equal parts sugar and water to a small pot. Heat over low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. The finished simple syrup will eventually be used to sweeten the tea. For now, set the mixture aside. To a large measuring container add the two family size Lipton tea bags (The family size bags are much larger than the standard size. If using smaller bags use between 4-6.) and a half cup of fresh mint leaves. To this container add 8 cups of boiling water. Allow the mixture to steep for 10 minutes. Remove and discard the tea bags. Add simple syrup to sweeten the tea. The amount of simple syrup used is a personal preference so add whatever amount suits your taste. Strain the tea from the measuring container into a half gallon plastic pitcher to remove the mint leaves. A glass pitcher may be used but the tea would need to cool first to reduce the risk of cracking the glass. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve in glasses filled with ice and garnished with lemon slices.

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