It has finally turned into summer around here. Gardens are their greenest, overflowing and generous. We are lucky enough to have access to a good friend and neighbor’s vegetable garden, and we are so grateful for it. I bring Rowan along often to pick fresh herbs and veggies. He eats broccoli and peas straight from the plant, a sight that fills me with such a sweet satisfaction and joy. It has turned into one of our very favorite things.
During these warmest of months, I love a good glass of iced tea. The last leg of my pregnancy landed dead in the middle of a hot, excruciatingly pungent New York City summer. Herbal iced tea was one of the only things I could tolerate during those forever queasy 9 months. Each day, after work, I would waddle into my nearest Starbucks and order up the red passion iced tea then waddle to the subway with the straw hanging out of the side of my mouth as I sipped. Ever since, it isn’t summer without some form iced tea in my kitchen.
Here is a fresh summery twist on your traditional tea bag infused tea. Grab a handful of your favorite herbs, steep them in boiling water and pour over ice. Fresh herbs add a brightness to your hot water that no tea bag can touch. You will taste nothing so fresh and bursting with flavor than this drink. And as temps are hitting the 80’s and humidity is rising, you will surely keep this drink flowing. As for the kiddies, I gave this to my picky two and a half year old and he glugged it down eagerly. And for the grownups, I can’t help but wonder if a splash of something strong wouldn’t turn this into a interesting cocktail.
Fresh fennel and mint iced tea
2 stalks of Mint
1 sprig of Fennel
or any herb you have fresh at the market or garden
Break up fennel and mint to release oils and place in a heat proof jar or pitcher. Pour boiling water over herbs and cover. Let steep for at least 10-20 minutes to desired flavor. Let cool.
Fill a glass full of ice. Pour tea over ice.