I woke up rather late this morning. And, by “rather late,” I mean 11:30AM. Yes, that’s right. There is a justifiable reason to waking up that late, and a contributing factor does include poking around on Pinterest until well after 3:00AM. I kept company with a bottle of Frog’s Leap Chardonnay, and we settled down after delightfully agreeing upon the construct of the perfect spring lavender cocktail. I think that I even made a few new friends along the way!
|Orange mint-lemon sweet tea.|
Waking up late can be a decadent treat, but most times, it renders me crestfallen. I feel that my day has been robbed from me, and I feel a sting of guilt that I have squandered its most beautiful hours. It is a careful balance, when you attain the satiety of enjoying the correct amount of sleep-hours and the bonus points of waking up early. I did not meet that balance today. Not anywhere close. As I meandered to the kitchen and reached for a familiar pitcher, I realized that I must have consumed the last of my homemade sweet tea the night before. Too tired to brew some, and too foggy to remember exactly how it dwindled so quickly, I waited until “someone else” made it for me. It is always interesting to see how someone makes sweet tea happen. Too lemony…too herbaceous…too sweet… Everyone seems to have a “perfect recipe” for themselves. My recipe tends to evolve around what I have available in my kitchen or garden at the time.
|Orange mint unabashedly growing on my back porch.|
Lately, I have perfected a recipe that utilizes the abundance of orange mint in my garden right now. Orange mint, like most mint varieties, proliferates profusely in most environments. Its leaves have a very fragrant, citrus aroma, and are high in vitamins A and C. This herb is also wonderful in mint sauces, jelly, vinegar, salads, and desserts.
Orange Mint-Lemon Sweet Tea:
- 3 bunches orange mint
- 5 packets of organic black tea
- 1/2 lemon, quartered
- 1 1/2 cups raw sugar
Boil about three cups of water on the stove. Once the water reaches a roiling boil, add five packets of organic black tea. Remove from the stove. Allow to steep according to producer’s directions (about 4-7 minutes). While tea solution is hot, add sugar (to taste) and stir until incorporated. Toss in lemon and mint. Add water until volume increases to 1 Liter. You can always add more water to dilute, if it is too strong. This is where your creativity and personal taste comes to play! I let the mint and lemon steep for about an hour, and then I remove the lemon. Lemon tends to overwhelm the other components; I feel fine leaving the orange mint. (By the way, you can substitute any type of mint in this “recipe.”)
As soon as I got my “tea fix,” I was ready to make some infused vodkas for an upcoming brunch service. Here’s the infusion line-up…more on how this became the amazing base for a delicious Bloody Mary cocktail…tomorrow…
|Ball pickling jars, filled with vodka, bacon, and yard jalapeno peppers.|