As a result, I decided to go with something simple, refreshing, and versatile: mint syrup.
Mint is the perfect antidote to summer's woes. The candy commercials get it right: take a bite of peppermint or spearmint, and your core temperature seems to plummet.
Simmer syrup (without stirring) 2 minutes. Allow the syrup to cool for 15 minutes, then pour through a fine mesh sieve to remove the mint. Cover and chill up to two weeks.
What to do with it:
- Add a couple of tablespoons of the chilled syrup to lemonade, limeade, iced tea, or a combination of the above.
- Drizzle the syrup over well-chilled cubed or sliced watermelon (1/2 to 3/4 of a cup of syrup is enough for a regular-sized seedless watermelon). If you like, squeeze the juice of a fresh lime (or two) over the melon, too.
- Make minted hibiscus iced tea: Bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Remove from heat, stir in 1 oz. dried hibiscus flowers, cover, and steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain the tea. Stir in another 4 cups cold water and 1 cup of the minted syrup. Serve chilled over ice with wedges of fresh lime.
- Make mojito slushies: combine 1 recipe of the syrup with 1/2 c. fresh lime juice, 1/2 c. light rum, and 8 cups crushed ice in a blender and, well, blend!