Only recently have I discovered what a whiz my mom is at making iced tea. I've always known that her Apple Pies are more than sublimely ridiculously incredible, and that my dad is the King of All Pancakes, but this summer, after several scorching hot spells, I've begun to realize that her iced tea is definitely something I will miss when I'm in New York next year. I think that the special thing about it is the fact that she always puts a sprig of some plant from her garden into the mix. Usually, its Sage, but she also throws in some Mountain Mint, which together create a really refreshing, earthy combination. So without further ado:
Sage & Lemon Iced Tea
When I asked my mom if I could post her recipe on this blog, she said "I have a recipe?" So, obviously, this "recipe" shouldn't be taken too seriously. Just throw some stuff in, you know, a couple leaves here or there, whatever! Also, we've only made it this way because my mom has all these herbs and plants in her garden, so if you have them, try this! If not, improvise!
4-5 Earl Grey Tea Bags
2 cups of cold water
1-2 Tsp. Sugar (to taste)
A couple sprigs of Sage
A pinch of salt
Water and Ice (a lot, but be careful not to dilute it too much)
1/2 Lemon, sliced
A few sprigs of Mountain Mint or any other type of Mint leaves
Agave Nectar (quite optional)
In a plastic carafe, throw in your tea bags (unwrapped and de-tagged). Then bring the cold water to a rolling boil. I've heard several times how important it is that the water be cold and also, as many a tea-aficionado has preached, that the water be at a full rolling boil. Add the water to the tea bags and let them steep for 10-15 minutes. As they are steeping, stir the carafe a few times and taste the tea; no one likes bitter iced-tea, so be careful not to over-steep. Remove the tea bags (and put them into the compost heap if you like!) and then add the sugar. We never really measure out the sugar, just add a spoonful and taste the tea as you go. It's always better to keep your hot tea a little on the unsweetened side, so guests can add as much sugar or agave nectar as they want later on. Then, while the water is still hot, add the Sage and keep it in the carafe. Then (this is the part I really like), add a pinch of salt; just a tad, so it enhances the sweetness just a bit.
Now, add a bunch of water and ice. Always add the water first, because you don't want your carafe to explode or anything. Throw in the lemon slices (and keep a couple for garnish if you so please) and the Mountain Mint. Add some agave nectar or honey for yourself, and enjoy!
In other news, I've update the shop! Added are three new illustrations: and an illustration of Magpie and Raven, two wolves I met in Colorado on a wolf preservation, a portrait of G.K. Chesterton, and another floral floral nymph Check it out!!