In preparation for the warm weather that is coming our way, I wanted to leave you all with a refreshing drink recipe. I first made a version of this a few years ago from a Better Homes & Gardens recipe. This week, while craving it, I could not locate that recipe, so I improvised and am happy with the result--preferring this honey version to the BH&G sugar version. If you're not a honey fan, try it with agave nectar. Or, you'll have to try it with a simple sugar syrup and find your own sweetness level (sorry). But try it with honey--haven't you read all the research that is coming out about local honey and the wonderful allergy relief?!
The craving for this minted citrus fruit tea started last weekend when we met my mother in law and our friends at one of my favorite lunch places in Nashville, Bread and Company. They make this amazing fruit tea that I used to stock up on whenever I have been in town for work over the last 8 years. I think my recipe comes really close to the B&C recipe. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it and prefer it to regular iced tea. If you like Arnold Palmers, you will love this. File it away for the hot days that are going to be upon us shortly....
I tried it with Tazo Zen Green Tea, but I like it equally well with orange pekoe black tea. Try making both versions and see which you prefer. It's going to go quick on hot day when you're taking a break from yard work....
MINTED CITRUS ICED TEA
- 8 cups water
- 8 black or green tea bags (orange pekoe is best, but flavored green teas are good too)
- ~18 mint leaves or roughly about a 1/2 cup (washed)
- 1 cup honey (local is preferred)
- 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 1/2-2 cups orange juice (use a good quality brand or use freshly squeezed orange juice)
Mix the warmed tea with honey in a 4-quart pitcher and stir well. Add the lemon and orange juices and stir.
Chill. Serve over ice. Garnish with mint leaves and/or lemon or orange slices, if desired.
Makes ~4 quarts. Should keep covered in the refrigerator for at least 1 week.