Strawberry season is in full swing and I am incorporating them into as many delivery systems as I can. With baskets and baskets of berries in my house and family coming over for lunch, I decided to veer from my normal sweet tea punch and put the berries to good use.
This flavored tea is miles and miles from any packaged product packed with “real fruit flavor.” The fresh berry taste shines through with just enough sweetness to highlight it. Sure, this takes a little more work than pouring water over tea bags, but the reward is well worth it.
My whole family loved it (maybe more than the actual lunch). And with a fresh berry and mint garnish, it is pretty to boot.
Fresh strawberry iced tea
12 ounces strawberries, hulled
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 family size tea bags
3 to 4 stems of mint
A few sliced strawberries and mint leaves, for garnish
1. Puree the strawberries in a blender, then strain through a cheesecloth-lined strainer. You should end up with about 1 cup of strawberry juice. Add water to make two cups, then pour it into a saucepan with the sugar and lemon juice. Stir well, then bring the mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. As soon as it reaches a boil, remove from the heat, stir in the mint and leave to cool.
2. Place the tea bags in a 1 gallon jar or pitcher. Pour over 7 cups of boiling water and leave to steep for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags and leave to cool slightly.
3. Pour the strawberry syrup back into the tea through the strainer to remove the mint leaves and stir well. Add 4 cups of cool water.
4. Garnish with sliced strawberries and mint leaves and serve over ice.
Related post on The Runaway Spoon: Strawberries with sweet tea dressing