Personally I'm not the biggest mint-lover. I mean, I find it refreshing in my toothpaste, delicious n my ice cream, and soothing in my hot teas. Generally, however, it's not my go-to flavor. But this summer our mint patch looks us in the eye and laughs at us, dares us to let all that freshness go to waste. And apparently we've been up to the challenge.
Luke has the dehydrator running about once a week, drying lots and lots of mint leaves for future use. And I've managed to throw some mint into a summer salad or two as a deviation from fresh basil (which is one of my go-to flavors). But my favorite way to make use of our bumper crop is to brew fresh iced tea. It has become a staple around here for the two of us and also for friends who come to call. So much so that I find myself brewing a new gallon about every other day. When I visited my family this weekend I took along a half gallon since my mom is often on the lookout for tasty caffeine-free drinks. I assume they liked it because yesterday she asked me for the recipe I use, but the truth is that I kind of just mix and taste and add things to any of my iced teas as I go along.
Dutiful daughter that I am, today whilst restocking our supply I attempted to keep track of the ingredients and measurements I was using, and I thought I might as well share them with anyone else who's interested.
Fresh Lemon Abund-mint Tea
-1 gallon of water
-3 cups of fresh mint leaves (I like to chop mine with a pair of kitchen shears to get the most flavor out of the leaves)
-1/2 cup honey
-juice of one lemon (about 3 tbsp)
1. Chop up the mint leaves and throw them in a pot on the stove with a gallon of water. Bring the leaves and water to a boil, allowing them to boil about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the leaves/water sit for about 10 minutes. 2. Strain the tea into a container where you can mix it with the honey while it's still hot (Sadly I don't have a funnel in my kitchen, so I pour it into a bowl with a spout so it's easier to transfer into the jug later). I like to line my strainer with some cheese cloth to make sure none of those little green leaves find their way into the finished product.
3. Add the 1/2 cup of honey and mix well. Transfer the sweetened tea into the jug.
4. Add the lemon juice (3 tbsp may be a bit lemony for some tastes, so I suggest putting in a bit less than that, sample it to see if it's a dream come true and add more as necessary). 5. Let it cool on the counter for a bit then throw it in the fridge for a fresh and tasty summer treat (the perfect complement to the wine berries and black berries your husband may or not bring back to the house after a run in the woods)!