A couple of days ago I wrote about planting an herb garden. This is a follow-up post with a yummy treat you can make with Mint leaves. My mint has been sprouting up in the bed after a snowy, cold winter. I have welcomed its return by making some Fruit Tea.
I realize that Fruit Tea is a southern thing, an American southern thing (I should clarify the country since I have some International readers ((which, by the way, blows my mind)) Hello Africa, India, Brazil, Argentina, Russia…! )
I grew up thinking everybody drank Fruit Tea.
I grew up in Tennessee. (Born in Georgia, lived in Texas for a couple of years before landing in TN when I was 5 years old). I have been southern all my life. It wasn’t until I went to college and became friends with people from Colorado, California, Ohio, New York, and everywhere in between that I realized that there are some foods/beverages that I grew up with that are local. Like Grits. And Fried Green Tomatoes. And Sweet Tea. And Fruit Tea. And there are some foods that I didn’t grow up with that my friends did and I was thrilled to learn of their regional foods. So I realize that fruit tea is regional. But I think it transcends location- it’s so tasty!
I drink water all day long everyday. I love water. I crave water. My body feels wonky when I go without enough water. I also love coffee. I drink it everyday. Coffee is my friend. But Fruit Tea is my favorite special beverage! In case you are confused at this point because this “fruit tea” is a foreign concept to you, let me define: Fruit tea is an iced tea made with a blend of fruit juices and sometimes mint or cinnamon and other spices. It is sweet and tart and refreshing. Some people call it Tea Punch. You might call it liquid dessert.
|this + tea = fruit tea|
The recipe is one that is not very exact. It is able to be customized based on what you like and what you have on hand. Some people add cinnamon sticks and cloves to the tea bags when brewing the tea. You can use whatever juices you like. Pineapple, orange juice and lemonade are my favorite combination.
Some recipes add more sugar to the tea while the tea is warm, but I feel like with 3 containers of sugar-filled juice it is plenty-sweet!
Let us know if you discover a winning juice combination that you think we should try!
2 quart size tea bags
1 frozen lemonade
1 frozen orange juice
1 frozen pineapple juice
a hand full of mint
Prepare 2 quarts of tea, the way you usually do it (stove top, kettle, Iced Tea Pot, sun) with mint brewed with the tea bags, add the 3 containers of frozen juice concentrate and a couple of stalks of mint, crushed. Stir until juice is melted. Dilute the fruit tea to your liking. It should make a gallon or so.