FIrst of all, can I just say I can’t believe it’s July already?! That means half the year is over. It also means that summer is halfway over. It also means by the time we know it, winter is going to be here (boo!), there’s going to be snow on the ground (lame), and it’s going to be cold for another 7 months (ugh). BUT, it also means that the Minnesota State Fair is next month!
Okay, now back to my post….
You know how McDonald’s has their sweet tea for $1? The ones that come in the gigantic styrofoam cup that are loaded with probably a pound of sugar that’s super tasty?
Well, I loooove sweet tea. I love iced tea in general, but there’s something about sweet tea that has a special place in my heart. Back in our college days, my best friend Nicky and I used to stop by McDonald’s just to get their sweet tea. And when we used to work together, she’d always stop by Micky D’s to surprise me with their sweet tea before coming into work – talk about a thoughtful friend! :)
For the past several summers, I’ve been making my homemade sweet tea infused with a little hint of cinnamon that Nicky absolutely loves. This time, I decided it’s time to change it up a bit and went with a refreshing mint (with a subtle hint of blackberries) instead.
If you’re not a fan of the caffeine that comes with tea, feel free to use decaffeinated tea bags instead. That was originally my plan until I realized I still had a bunch of regular black tea bags leftover from last summer.
- 1 cup blackberries
- A handful of mint leaves
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 8-3/4 cup water, divided
- 10 black tea bags
- Place the tea bags in a large pitcher and add 8 cups of water. Place in fridge.
- Meanwhile, make the syrup: in a small saucepan, combine 3/4 cups water, the granulated sugar, blackberries, and mint leaves. Bring to a simmer for 2-3 minutes until sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from let and let cool.
- Take pitcher out from fridge, add syrup and stir. Place back in fridge and refrigerate 18-24 hours.
- Remove the tea bags (don't squeeze them!), serve over ice and garnish with additional mint leaves if desired.
I like using the cold brew method for my iced tea. If you want, you can brew the tea the traditional hot brew method – just bring the 8 cups of water to a boil, add the tea bags, and let steep for about 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags, let cool, and then transfer to a large pitcher.
The blackberry flavor in this is very subtle and it actually pairs quite well with the minty taste if leaves in your mouth afterwards.
I didn’t add as much sugar to this recipe as I normally would either – it’s still sweet, but not sweet to the point to where you feel like you’re just drinking sugar water.
I’m calling it the “skinnier” version, just to make myself feel better about it. It has less sugar, it has healthy antioxidants from the tea, and it has fruit – that makes it a healthy summer drink, right?