21 June 2010

Family recipe Monday: iced tea and other summer drinks

Happy summer solstice! To celebrate this day in style (it's the birthday of one of us at Threads and Traces, and therefore practically a national holiday, right?), take one of these tall cool drinks out to the veranda. It's hard to find good verandas any more, but please do your best. Don't forget to chill the pitcher first. We will be out on the deck once the thunderstorms let up, ourselves.

Mint iced tea
If mint grows for you the way it grows for Shirley, you’ll be giving this to all your guests whether they ask for it or not. And don’t forget that there are all kinds of mint varieties to make this even more interesting (pineapple mint would be terrific). Just stay out of the catnip if the cat got there first.

3 cups boiling water
12 sprigs fresh mint
4 regular tea bags
Juice of 2 lemons
1 cup orange juice
1 cup sugar
6 cups cold water

Combine boiling water, mint and tea, and steep for 8 minutes. Remove tea bags and mint and let tea cool. Combine juices with sugar and water, stirring to dissolve sugar. Strain tea mixture and add to juices. Serve over ice garnished with a sprig of mint.

Vino tè
1 quart boiling water
12 teabags
½ cup sugar
3 cups dry red wine
2/3 cup strained lemon juice
Lemon wedges
Mint sprig 

Pour boiling water over tea bags. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Remove teabags; and sugar and stir to dissolve. Cool. Add wine and lemon juice. Pour into a tall pitcher; add ice cubes. Garnish with lemon wedges and mint sprig. Makes 10 servings.

Finally, here's a classic for a hot summer evening with guests.

Wine welcomer
1 6-oz can frozen lemonade concentrate
1 6-oz can frozen orange juice concentrate
1 fifth dry white wine (750 ml)
1 cup orange liqueur
1 28-oz bottle carbonated water
Orange slices (optional)

Place frozen concentrates in large pitcher or punchbowl. Gradually stir in 2 cups cold water, mixing till smooth. Stir in wine and orange liqueur. Add carbonated water and ice. Stir gently. Top with orange slices if desired. Serve at once. Yield 22 4-oz servings.

Happy Monday, y'all.

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