I am a fall girl. Somehow my body doesn’t do well in the heat. I get clammy, irritated, and my hair doesn’t do anything it’s supposed to. So most of the time living in cool and cloudy Oregon is a dream for me. But then summer comes, and then I’m a bit… thrown. What do I do? Where is the relief from the heat?
Suddenly, the sun is out, the birds are singing and everything feels alive and joyful. I’m so used to the rain, I forget to do things this time of year like wear sunscreen, bring my sunglasses with me at all times, and haul out the fans and a/c units.
So here I am, summer is just barely here and I’m sun-burned, squinty-eyed and a slushy hot mess.
I want change all that. I want to embrace the season that is summer, and I’m going to do it with style and with grace! Here’s my plan:
1. Stay protected (sunscreen, fabulous large sun hats, and sunglasses).
2. Stay hydrated (Sun tea!)
3. Use the oven as little as possible, unless it’s for pickles or other canning adventures.
Sun tea is an effortless and delicious summer drink (everything I wish to embody this season) I love it because it’s some how magically better then regular ol’ iced tea, and you can make up your own combinations. AND! No turning on the oven. I think that qualifies for some major summer points.
The method couldn’t be easier. Fill a large container with water. Place about 1/2 cup dried hibiscus flowers (or use 5 tea bags of hibiscus tea) and 1/4 (or 3- 4 tea bags) cup loose leave black tea into the container. I used a 1 gallon glass jar with a glass lid that I bought here.
You can also sweeten this tea with a ginger-honey simple syrup, but I actually just used one packet of this Ginger Honey Crystals (which is also great on its own). It added a slightly sweet, hint of ginger to it. Another great idea is to add a ginger honey syrup to this.
After that, you just set it in a sunny spot outside, and let it steep for 3-4 hours. When it’s nice and dark red, strain through a fine mesh strainer into a pitcher and chill or pour over ice. It surprises me every time how warm the glass and liquid gets from the sun. When you pick it up after it’s been sitting out all day, it’s like touching warm laundry out of the dryer. You know it’s got to be warm, but it feels surprising and good to feel just how warm it is. I like to leave it on the counter in the kitchen to come down in temperature a bit before drinking.
There is something so cosmically right about Sun tea. Introducing two ingredients and letting them get nice and friendly with each other on their own is effortless and so right.
I could dive right in to that deep dark liquid.
When you are ready to have a drink, pour over ice and add a couple of sliced lemons and a mint sprig to be fancy. Welcome to summer!
- 1 gallon size glass container
- 1/2 cup hibiscus flowers or 5 hibiscus tea bags
- 1/4 cup loose leaf black tea or 3 black tea bags
- Ginger Honey Crystals (optional)
- Lemon slices (optional)
- Mint sprigs (optional)
- Pour the water into the gallon container, preferably one with a slightly wide opening (to make adding the tea leaves easier)
- Sprinkle the hibiscus and black tea and ginger honey crystals (if using) over the surface of the water. Put the lid on the container and place in a sunny spot in the yard or porch.
- Let sit in the sun for 5-6 hours.
- When finished, the liquid will be very dark red. Strain the tea into a clean pitcher, one that will fit in your fridge.
- Refrigerate or pour over ice to serve. Garnish with lemon and mint if desired.
- This tea isn't sweet. Add sugar/sweetener if you like sweet tea.