This big-batch herbal tea is just the thing you want to have on hand during the hot summer months. The recipe, which comes from herbalist Jovan Sage of Brunswick, Georgia-based Sage’s Larder, doesn’t contain dried herbs or tea leaves. Instead, you muddle chopped fresh strawberries with sugar, cook the berry mixture until the sugar melts, then stir in sprigs of fresh peppermint. Before you add the mint to the berry mixture, Sage recommends slapping each mint sprig in the palm of your hand to release the herb’s volatile oils, which makes the drink extra flavorful. The sweet, mint-infused berry mixture is strained, then combined with sparkling water to make a refreshing, effervescent drink. The recipe calls for spearmint, but any variety of mint will work just as well, so take advantage of what’s growing (or when it comes to mint— over-growing) in your garden. Spearmint or chocolate mint would be especially tasty. Strawberry-Mint Tea is delicious on its own, served over ice. But you can also use it as a mixer to make cocktails—gin, vodka, or light rum would all make good additions.
- 2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and roughly chopped
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 8 peppermint sprigs
- 6 cups chilled sparkling water
- 8 whole fresh strawberries with tops
- Step 1
Place strawberries and sugar in a small saucepan; muddle using a wooden spoon. Cook mixture over low, stirring occasionally, until sugar melts, about 5 minutes.
- Step 2
Place each peppermint sprig in the palm of your hand. Give it a good slap (this brings out the volatile oils). Stir peppermint sprigs into strawberry mixture; remove from heat. Let to cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
- Step 3
Remove and discard peppermint sprigs from strawberry mixture. Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a half-gallon pitcher. Stir in sparkling water.
- Step 4
Fill 6 highball glasses with ice; pour strawberry mixture evenly into glasses. Slice a small slit in each of the whole strawberries; garnish each glass rim with 1 strawberry.