It’s already been hot for a bit up here, but Summer officially starts today, and what better way to celebrate than to harness that glorious shining Sun to make herbal Sun Tea?
It’s so easy to make, all you need is some herbs, water, and a glass jar, anywhere from a quart to a gallon. If you grow mint in your garden, go snip a few stems and throw them in, mashing them in your hands first to help release the goodness. For my quart jar, I generally use a couple small handfuls of dried herbs, more if using fresh herbs, and scaling up for bigger jars.
For this batch, I used dried hibiscus and chrysanthemum flowers and fresh spearmint. It’s a refreshing drink like this, but sometimes I’ll throw in some cinnamon chips or licorice for a sweeter taste. You can of course add a sweetener of your choice to the finished tea.
Put the herbs in the jar, fill with water, and put the loosely capped jar in the sun for a few hours to overnight. The longer you steep it, the stronger it will be. Strain into another bottle and refrigerate, or pour it into glasses with ice, and enjoy! I garnished with a few squeezes of lime.
Summer, we salute you!
So as I’ve been harnessing the awesome power of the sun to make tasty sun teas, I thought I would share a few things I’ve learned along the way.
If you’re using loose herbs, tighten the cap and give the jar or bottle a little shake before you strain out the herbs. Sometimes the herbs clump at the top and it can make the first pour a little… surprising. When you give it a quick shake, the herbs get mixed back in the water for an easy pour through your strainer.
And if you like the idea of sun tea, but it seems like too much to deal with the herbs and everything (which, I assure you, only takes a moment), there is an even easier trick:
Just pop an herbal teabag or two in your jar or bottle instead of adding loose herbs. Boom! Sun tea just got even easier! Now just carefully pull the teabag out when you are done steeping. I’ve been really digging some rooibos tea bags I had.
In either case, give the herbs a little squeeze to get all the goodness out – either press into the strainer or squeeze the teabag. I love having a couple varieties in the fridge all set for hot days. So easy! So refreshing! Thanks, sun!