Showing posts with label hibiscus tea. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hibiscus tea. Show all posts

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Summer Mint Syrup

With National Ice Cream Month coming to a close, it's time to move on to lighter fare.  But it's still brutally hot outside, so I'm still not wanting to, you know, cook.

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.

Personally, I plan to spend this sweltering weekend on my front porch, keeping cool with a variety of minty treats.  And they all start with this basic mint syrup, a summer staple you can make for a specific recipe or simply keep in the fridge for whenever you want an extra dose of refreshment.

Hibiscus-Mint Iced Tea
Mint Syrup

2/3 - 1 oz. fresh mint leaves
1 c. sugar

Chop the mint.  Combine the mint, sugar, and 1 c. water in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.

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:
  1. Add a couple of tablespoons of the chilled syrup to lemonade, limeade, iced tea, or a combination of the above.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!

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    Wendy is the author of the Mysteries a la Mode. Visit her on the web or on Facebook.