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Author Notes: Over the Fourth of July weekend, my husband and I ventured to Los Angeles to visit family and friends. We arrived at my cousin Dan and his wife Monica's house one afternoon, and Dan excitedly offered us each a glass of what turned out to be his rendition of our grandmother's "famous" mint iced tea. We gleefully gulped the cool, sweet, aromatic tea, which I hadn't had in years. It's a taste memory that will always bring me back to sitting in my grandparents' large kitchen or under the umbrella by their pool on a summer day, sipping iced tea out of a tall, colored glass. My grandmother used Lipton iced tea mix, but she lifted it above the ordinary by infusing her tea with a generous amount of mint water, which she made by pouring boiling water over a huge handful of fresh mint that she'd just picked from the garden. Inspired by Dan's brilliant -- and timely -- recreation of my grandmother's tea, I decided to make some myself at home last week using tea bags instead of mix (you can use either -- I won't judge!). —Merrill Stubbs
Makes 1 quart
- 2 tea bags, or the equivalent in loose tea (I used English Breakfast, but you can really use any tea you like)
- 1 cup packed fresh mint leaves
- 3 to 4 tablespoons sugar (turbinado is good here, but you could also use honey, maple syrup or agave)
- Lemon slices for serving
- Boil a kettle of water, and put the tea and the mint into a large, heatproof pot or pitcher. Pour a quart of boiling water into the pot, add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Carefully taste a little and add more sugar if you like. Set the tea aside to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate until cold.
- Strain and serve over plenty of ice with lemon wedges.
- This recipe is a Community Pick!