As summer blisters on, I find the need to be drinking water increasing and my interest decreasing. It becomes a chore. What I’ve learned to combat that is to add flavor. I love infused water and tea and try to keep a supply of fresh herbs at the ready for infusing.
Regular readers will know my tale of woe regarding an abundant, rampant crop of mint that haunts me at this time of year. A brief hesitation regarding putting the tiny mint plants in a pot or stoned-in raised bed had rendered enough mint to make Mojitos for most of Northern Colorado. The good thing is that I love mint, though I tend not to consume pounds of it at a time. A few sprigs added to some fresh water quickly yields a refreshing drink found far more cheaply than the cool bottles found at the store for $2-3 each.
Something I’ve always loved to do is make Sun Tea. As it sounds, a few tea bags plopped in a jar full of water brew at Mother Nature’s hand to create a wonderful ice tea in a few hours. Of course it’s quicker to boil water and make tea the traditional way then ice it, but Sun Tea is summertime for me. Taking mere seconds to add ingredients to the jar, I love having it on my front porch ready to drink in a few hours. I keep a spigot jar of it in the fridge most of the summer.
I get bored easily so like to experiment with refreshing flavors, combining tea and herbs. Fresh herbs are great though not always available. For the batch I’m sharing today I added dried lavender and dried lemongrass with some green tea bags and fresh mint. The flavors are subtle and unique, making an interesting and refreshing tea. Dried herbs can be placed in a loose tea ball or I simply wrapped them in a double layer of cheesecloth and tied the bundle closed. I squeezed the bag a few times during the soaking to further release the herbal flavors as the bundle holds the herbs more tightly than a tea ball. Served with a sprig of fresh mint and there is nothing better to sit on the porch at dusk, reflecting on the day, watching the colors change in the summer sky.
If you are an Arnold Palmer drink lover, try this sun tea next time you make one!
Lemongrass-Lavender Green Sun Tea
- 16 cups cool Water
- 3 sprigs fresh Mint
- 6 Green Tea bags
- 1 tablespoon dried Lemongrass
- 1 tablespoon dried Lavender
- Optional: Honey or Agave Nectar for sweetening
- Pour water in a large jar, preferably with a spigot for easy serving. Add the mint and tea bags. Place lemongrass and lavender in a tea ball or wrap in two layers of cheesecloth and tie closed with kitchen twine. Allow to brew in the sun for the day. Remove tea bags, and herbs; store in the refrigerator.