Iced Fruited Herb Tea
Sweet summer. School is out. Life slows down. The sun comes up early - lighting my bedroom slowly and waking me gently a little before 5:00 AM - and goes down late, still light at 10:00 PM. I love the glorious long days. The garden grows. Watermelon is a valid meal (in my opinion). Time stretches out most deliciously. When I was a child summer seemed to last forever but now I know that it is over in a minute. Summer is sadly short here in Calgary, every moment a tiny treasure that wants to be enjoyed.
One of the signals of 'real' summer's arrival is making the first pitcher of "Fruited Iced Herbal Tea". I have had the recipe forever and cannot recall from where. We love it. Love it. I made gallons of it for Eden's wedding and again for Merin's. And then just gallons more for everyday summer relaxing. If it is summer there is a pitcher in the fridge at my house. Super easy and very refreshing it is a much cooler option than pop, best enjoyed in the shade with a good book and a lounge chair. Or at the park with a picnic. Or while watching the kids play in the sprinkler. Or when you are just hot and thirsty .... you get the idea.
Fruited Iced Herbal Tea
4 tea bags*
10 cups water
3/4 cup honey
2 lemons, juiced
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
Boil 2 cups water, steep tea. Add the honey, lemon juice, vanilla, and almond extract. Mix well, then add the remaining 8 cups of water. Serve over ice.
Note: if you don't serve this over ice, add more water. It is much better when it is not too concentrated - more refreshing.
*I use a combination of different herbal teas when I make this. There is some flexibility in what I use but I always include at least one tea bag of mint tea. From there it varies - fruity or berry teas are popular for this at our house and look very pretty as well, rooibos teas (an Earl Grey flavoured rooibos is fantastic), anything you like but personally I don't like the licorice or cinnamon teas for this recipe. (Although I seriously love them otherwise!)
So my selection for a recipe of iced tea may look like this:
1 mint tea bag
2 tea bags of an Earl Grey flavoured rooibos tea
1 fruity tea bag (like Berry Zinger or something similar)