Growing up, I would never forget the glass jug printed with orange and yellow circles, full of soggy Lipton tea bags, that sat on our front step in the summer. Sun-tea was a 'thing' in the eighties. In fact, almost every house I played at had one. "Mind the tea, please", "Step around the tea, honey" and "don't touch the sun-tea!" come to mind from many voices. Being little, I thought it was a very important magical experiment going on between the tea-preparer and the sun, and I was very careful not to mess it up.
As an adult, I make iced tea sometimes. I've made moon tea as well. Today I made sun-tea. I'm not quite sure if anything mystical happened during the infusion, except that it is odd that infusing for three hours did not make the tea bitter. It had ideal tea-ish flavor and once chilled, was ultra refreshing.
Hibiscus has a tart flavor, similar to cranberry. It is packed with antioxidants and has cancer-fighting properties. Hibiscus also supports healthy blood pressure and lowers blood fat levels. Good for you, easy labor for the sun. Thank you, sun.
"If you need to make a large batch, follow the 4-bag to 40 oz. of water rule."
Notes: Hibiscus tea is Traditional Medicinals. Red Zinger is Celestial Seasons.
HIBISCUS MINT SUN-TEA
Ingredients: 2 hibiscus tea bags, 2 red zinger tea bags, 1 small bunch mint, 40 oz. water, pitcher or tea jug
1. Heat the water in a saucepan until hot, but not simmering.
2. Drop tea bags into the bottom of the pitcher, pour in the water. Push the mint into the pitcher gently without bruising. Leave the wooden spoon in the pitcher to hold the mint under.
3. Place pitcher outside, in direct sunlight for 3 hours. Return to rotate or move the pitcher with the sun every hour or so, and stir a few times, making sure to keep the mint submerged as you leave it.
4. Chill until cold before serving.
Tip: Make the tea sweet by adding agave nectar to each glass, or by stirring in 1/4 cup before chilling.