Minted Iced Tea

Published July 1, 1999.

Why this recipe works:

We determined that a good iced tea recipe depended on doing a lot of little things right. The key to strong but not bitter flavor was water temperature. And unless the quality of your tap water is very, very good, spring water is the way to go; it produced tea with the freshest, cleanest,… read more

We determined that a good iced tea recipe depended on doing a lot of little things right. The key to strong but not bitter flavor was water temperature. And unless the quality of your tap water is very, very good, spring water is the way to go; it produced tea with the freshest, cleanest, clearest look and taste. We found that a ratio of 5 teabags to 1 quart of water worked best in our iced tea recipe. The amount of sugar can be varied from 1 to 6 tablespoons, depending on taste.

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Makes 1 1/2 quarts, serving 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • 5 tea bags of your choice
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, bruised with a wooden spoon
  • 1 quart spring water (see note)
  • 1 - 6 tablespoons granulated sugar or natural cane sugar (depending on desired sweetness)
  • 1 quart ice cubes (see note), plus additional cubes for glasses

Instructions

  1. Heat tea bags, mint and water in medium nonreactive saucepan over medium heat until dark colored, very steamy, and small bubbles form on bottom and sides of pan (an instant-read thermometer will register about 190 degrees), 10 to 15 minutes. Off heat, steep for 3 minutes (no longer or tea may become bitter). Remove and discard tea bags and strain tea through fine-mesh sieve to remove mint; pour tea into pitcher. Stir in sugar, if using, until dissolved; stir in ice until melted. Serve in ice-filled glasses.

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