It has been sunny for the past two days, quite a nice break from the seemingly never-ending rain we’ve had so far. Don’t get me wrong, I love summer thunderstorms, and now that I have the back porch properly set-up for the kiddies with a gate to keep them nicely corralled and porch swing for me, we’ve been able to get outside even when the rain has kept us out of the yard. Yet having rainy days back to back to back makes it a little difficult to experiment with one of my favorite summertime drinks, sun tea. This year, I’ve been concentrating on making my own herbal blends as I seem to be getting more and more sensitive to caffeine the older, er-hem, I get. After a few internet searches, some rummaging through my personal recipes, and a few gallons of trial and error, I think I might have finally hit on the just the right combination for a nice mid-afternoon refresher; not too sour, not too sweet, and such a brilliant ruby red.
So, for those of you with maybe a little more sunshine than we’re getting, here’s a little herbal sun tea recipe for you to enjoy! A note of warning, I will only give you approximate ratios, since I’m horrible at exact measurements. I’ve been using a large, shallow, Asian style soup spoon to portion it all, and I think it holds a little over a tablespoon. But hey… it’s tea! No need to worry!
For a half gallon of water add:
2 full spoons of Hibiscus flower
1 full spoon of Rosehips
1 full spoon of Chamomile
1 full spoon of Orange Peel
I put it in a glass pitcher–don’t want your plastic getting hot in the sun and leaching those nasty chemicals–cover it with plastic wrap–since I don’t have a lid and I need to keep the bugs out–and set it out in the sun for four hours or so. Then I bring it inside, pour it over some ice, add a few splashes of apple juice if you’d like a bit more sweetness, then sit back, relax, and enjoy the summer.
A piece or two of cinnamon bark might be lovely. Also I would imagine a bit of gin, vodka, or cointreau would make a nice addition, but alas, no alcohol for me until the new year.