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Iced Mint and Citrus Tea

July 27, 2012

Iced Mint Citrus Tea

Today, a bit of refreshment inspired by the greenmarket.

Last summer, when I was newly pregnant with my now 6-month-old daughter, there wasn't much that I was interested in ingesting. Three of the few things that didn't nauseate me (most of the time) were citrus, ice and mint. To my delight, I discovered that the guy selling honey, maple syrup and free-range chickens at my local greenmarket also peddled a seriously refreshing iced mint and citrus tea, sweetened with his own maple syrup. I don't think I missed a single Saturday greenmarket visit that summer -- I looked forward to those icy, lightly sweet cups of non-caffeinated tea all week long.

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This summer, I decided to get smart and make some myself. The helpful ingredient list on the self-serve cooler reads: "Mint tea, lemon juice, lime juice, honey, maple syrup." So, a few weeks ago, armed with a huge bunch of mint, I set to work.

First, I poured boiling water over the mint leaves, covered the pot and let the tea steep until the water cooled to lukewarm. Then, I strained the tea, gently pressing the leaves to extract all possible mintiness.

Mint Tea Straining mint tea

While the tea was still slightly warm, I stirred in a combination of honey and maple syrup (Grade A). The residual heat helps dissolve the honey more quickly.

Pressing mint leaves Honey and Maple Syrup

Once the tea was completely cool, I juiced a lemon and a lime, straining out any fibers and pips (you want nice, clear tea), and stirred the juice into the tea.

Lemons and limes Iced Mint Citrus Tea

I chilled the finished tea, and once it was nice and cold I poured it over plenty of ice to serve. I still get a cup whenever I pass by the maple syrup/honey/chicken guy at the market, but now I don't have to limit myself to Saturdays -- I can have this tea all week long!

Iced Mint and Citrus Tea

Makes 3 quarts

  • 1 large bunch mint (I prefer spearmint to peppermint)
  • 1/3 cup mild honey (plus more to taste)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup (plus more to taste)
  • 1 large lemon
  • 1 large lime

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • J.B.
  • Tea Foodie [by Zanitea]
    Tea Foodie [by Zanitea]
  • Foodiewithalife
  • HalfPint
  • bgavin
I'm a native New Yorker, Le Cordon Bleu graduate, former food writer/editor turned entrepreneur, mother of two, and unapologetic lover of cheese.


J.B. August 9, 2012
Nice inspirational version to add to my collection of cooling, non-fattening, overly-sugared drinks. Refreshing to think about during the dog days of summer.
Tea F. July 31, 2012
Looks delicious and refreshing. Just bought a huge bag of mint at the farmer's market, what a perfect way to use it.
Foodiewithalife July 30, 2012
YUM! Love how simple ingredients can make a bevy super special with minimal effort.

HalfPint July 30, 2012
I've been on a cold-brewed tea binge lately and especially since I read that adding mint leaves to the container makes for one killer iced tea. No cooking involved. I absolutely love this way of making iced tea and am now letting my mint run wild so that I can make this every week.

Now I think I'll just make mint-infused water a nice variation.
bgavin July 29, 2012
I made a mint sugar syrup to expedite our production of Mojitos and found the syrup to be a perfect complement to my own iced black tea. I learned that mint fades with heat, so I don't boil the mint...I make plain simple syrup and once it is off the heat, add my mint to the hot, not boiling syrup (just as Merrill recommends).
Mzoo July 27, 2012
I made the recipe as written and find it to be incredibly refreshing and light. A definite keeper and easy to make!
Merrill S. July 28, 2012
I'm so glad! Refreshing and light was what I was going for, so good to hear at least one person thinks so!
hardlikearmour July 27, 2012
This sounds fantastically refreshing. I wouldn't have thought to use maple syrup, but it's a stellar idea. Glad to hear your voice on the site, too! It seems like you and Amanda have almost disappeared lately.
Merrill S. July 28, 2012
We're still here! :)