Mint Tea -- a summer refresher!
I stayed at a B& B near Lancaster last weekend, & kept myself cool by drinking mint tea by the quart. The recipe is one that the PA Amish use, and -- I was surprised to learn -- contains no real "tea". Try it, and you will want to make sure you have a fresh a jug in your fridge all summer long.
Amish Mint Tea
3 cups of fresh, washed mint leaves (you can include the stems if they are not too woody)
1 gallon of water
Put the leaves in a big pot, add the water & bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, strain the leaves out & add sugar/artificial sweetener to taste. Chill well & serve over ice.
The owner of the B&B said that her Amish neighbors usually have several kinds of mint in their mint patch: peppermint, spearmint, pinapple mint, orange mint, lemon mint, chocolate mint (who knew), and use all to make their mint tea. I wanted to try one of the more unusual varieties, but the intense heat here in PA, along with a lack of rain, had killed off most of their mint. One I got home, I made my tea from the plain 'ol mint that grows like a weed in my garden. Soooo very refreshing!!!
The Amish will dry their excess mint spead out on sheets placed in the sun, then use it to make hot mint tea in the colder months.