Lavender Mint Iced Tea
It's probably dangerous that the first booth I come across at the local farmers' market is always the lavender one. It was only a matter of time before one of these beautiful bushels came home with me — without a clue how to use it. Turns out lavender is a nice accent to just about anything. I've come across recipes for lavender sorbet, lavender lemonade, lavender scones, the list goes on. Pro tip: like most other flowers it lasts a few days in water, so there's an added decorative aspect before cooking.
On another note, my apartment has been no less than a bazillion degrees this summer. I was looking to make a refreshing beverage for when I got home from work to sip while I waited for the AC to really kick in. I decided to try my hand at lavender mint tea and am so excited about how it turned out. It's super easy to make and keeps for quite a while — assuming you have the self control to let it last that long.
Recipe adapted from epicurious Lavender Mint Lemonade
For the syrup:
1/2 cup mint leaves
A handful of lavender sprigs (including stems)
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 cups water
For the tea:
2 quarts water
Tea (I used Earl Gray Decaf but you could easily substitute with your favorite)
1. In a small sauce pan, bring the water and sugar to a low boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally until dissolved.
2. Add maple syrup and stir until dissolved.
3. Ball the lavender in your hand to bruise the leaves and release the oils slightly.
4. Add the lavender and the mint to the syrup and simmer for ten minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
5. Brew tea as you normally would. I'm not exactly a tea expert; in my case, 1 quart of water and two tea bags.
6. Strain syrup. Add to tea to taste. I used about half, but the rest can be used for some kick a** mojitos.
images by Amanda Dennelly