Sun Tea

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My flowers are coming up, I have packed away my winter jacket, and I haven't worn anything but sandals for the past week. Plus yesterday I made the first batch of sun tea and saw my first hot air balloon of the season (which lead to a heated discussion with the mister about how hot air balloons take flight. We were both kinda right, but me more than him)So yeah,  it's for real… Winter is gone and spring has sprung, or more like spring sprung then bounced cause now it's basically summer weather. Not complaining, but I hope we get a least a few more weeks of pleasant, not hot and humid weather. 

Anyway. Sun tea, one of my favorite summer time drinks. Made by infusing regular old teas with water by using the almighty power of sun.

Why do we want to make iced tea this way instead of just using boiling water? Well you can still do that, but sun tea makes a more mellow, lovely, and I find, more sweeter tea. It brings out more complex flavors that you don't get with the boiling water method.  And it's nice to know that it took zero effort on my part to make the drink (not that boiling water takes that much effort, but still)

It can be made with any variety  of teas, infused with other fresh herbs, dried spices, or even chunks of fruit. You can also make the teas and add flavors after the infusing is over. Have fun and play with flavor combos.

A few of my favorite sun tea combinations

  • Any mellow black tea like orange pekoe or english breakfast with a few springs of mint
  • Chamomile and mint 
  • Green with a fruity tea, like blueberry or pomegranate
  • Lemon Zinger with a few springs of Rosemary

These are just a few of the endless possible flavors. And you don't have to get fancy with it either, you can totally use plain old lipton tea bags (I still do that too)

Now harness the sunshine and feel awesome and fancy by making some tea!

Woo Hoo Wednesday!

-C

SUN TEA

 What you'll need

  • Tea- Either bags or loose leaf
  • Water- Preferably Filtered
  • A glass jar with a lid
  • Sunshine

I  use a ratio of 1 tea bag or 1 tablespoon loose leaf tea per 2 cups of water. And I usually make my teas in half gallon ball jars so I use 4-5 teabags or tablespoons of tea. (makes just enough tea for 4-6 tall glasses, depending on you glass size)  If it's a mint tea, I usually use a little less because I find that mint teas can become to strong and bitter so I  use 3 teas bags or tablespoons of loose.

Directions

Place tea loose or bags into jar. Fill with water, leaving about an inch for tea expansion, place lid on tight, and stick in the sun for anywhere between 3-5 hours  (depending on how strong you like your tea). When tea is infused to your liking, remove teabags or strain the loose tea and stick into the fridge to chill. Serve as is  in a drinking vessel with a few ice cubes and add sweetener if that's what you do.

Drink within a day or two, then rinse jar and make a new batch!

Candy Cane Hot Chocolate

IMG_6383My motive for this drink…get rid of a few candy cane…..  And maybe make a little kid happy, but that was just a bonus... I would have made him drink this even if he didn't like it. (I am awful like that)

I have noticed lately people are really into peppermint in their hot drinks and  I have an excess of candy canes in my house, so  this was the perfect drink to make. I was initially just going to make hot peppermint milk but added the cocoa for an extra treat. If you want, omit the cocoa and just make peppermint milk.. Or you might want to replace 1/2 the milk and add coffee! Or for those adults out there..maybe add a spash of vodka.. my version of .a hot black and white peppermint Russian(I just made that a thing)

A little advise ….check the temperature of the drink if you are giving it to a kid..What I thought was not too hot turned out to be a too hot. My little niece took a big gulp, and instantly sprayed the drink all over the kitchen and my clean hat, scarf and mittens… and then proceeded to cry….Hot chocolate is supposed to make the kids happy….so yeah...

IMG_5475All you need is a cup of milk(cow, soy, rice..whatever) a tablespoon of cocoa powder, a tiny pinch of salt and a candy cane. We don't need to add any extra sugar because the candy cane is sugar. 

Peel plastic off candy cane and place in a baggy and smash with something hard (rolling pin worked great)IMG_6374Stick all ingredients into a pot on medium heat and whisk until the candy cane is melted and the milk is as hot as you like it.

IMG_6379It you want(we did) top with a dollop of whipped cream(or whipped coconut cream) and sprinkle with a little more crushed candy cane…..Best served after a long afternoon of playing in the snow!

Go for it, watch your tongue and enjoy!

 

Ingredients (Makes one serving)

  • 1 normal sized candy cane
  • 1 tablespoon powdered cocoa
  • 1 1/4 cup of milk(cow, soy, rice, hemp…what ever milk you want)
  • pinch of salt

Place unwrapped candy cane in baggy and smash.  Place all but a sprinkle of the candy cane, the milk, and the cocoa in pot on medium heat  and whisk until candy cane is fully melted and the cocoa is you preferred temperature.

Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with crushed candy cane.