Nothing is more refreshing on a hot day than a freshly brewed glass of iced tea. You can pump the refreshment quotient up a notch by adding a splash (or more) of fresh mint syrup. If you're not a sweet tea person, hang on, and hear me out. I'm not a sweet tea person either, but this delicious, easy to make syrup can be used in small enough amounts so as not to truly sweeten the tea, but impart a fresh, light mint flavor that makes any glass of iced tea irresistible. Those of you who like sweet tea, pour it on!
If you're like me and grow mint you probably find yourself, as I do, with a crop that requires a bush hat and machete to harvest. This is an excellent use for some of that mint, and gives you an excuse to hack away at a good portion of it. This recipe can be doubled or tripled based upon usage. I find that it keeps quite well in the refrigerator for a week.
Fresh Mint Syrup
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup loosely packed fresh spearmint leaves (Mentha Spicata)
Put sugar and water into a microwave safe dish (I use a Pyrex 2-cup measuring cup). Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes until sugar is dissolved. Stir. Add mint leaves to the hot sugar/water mixture and stir, pressing mint leaves against the glass with the back of a spoon. Allow to steep for 10-15 minutes. Strain. Pour into a lidded container and store in the refrigerator. Add to tea to suit taste.
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