Summer is officially here. And it’s hot. A hot muggy day needs a cool, refreshing drink.
Enter sun tea. My mom used to make sun tea when I was little, and I just started making it again…and it’s become my beverage of choice after coming in from the garden.
Start with a pitcher or a jar of water. I use a gallon glass jar. It should have a lid to keep bugs and critters out, in case they also like tea.
My mom used a gallon jug with a little spout on the bottom, which is particularly handy for dispensing the sun tea straight out of the fridge. You can find plastic ones available new at stores in the summer, but the real deal is still available at thrift stores and online, like on Etsy. I’m pretty sure Mom’s had sailboats on it.
Add some tea bags…this is where you can get creative and use what you like. My mom used mostly black tea when I grew up, I think. I use a variety of tea that’s rarely the same twice in a row. This batch has two bags of chai tea, two Good Earth Original, one apple flavored something-or-other, and an earl grey. The only constant is the chai; it adds a certain something that makes the tea so delicious I no longer even add sweetener when I drink it; it’s just so good.
I use 5-6 bags of tea per gallon of water.
You can use anything, really; green tea or loose tea would work just fine if you have it. Later in the year when I my garden is more filled out, I’ll put fresh herbs in here too, like mint or rosemary.
Put the lid on the jar and leave it out in the sun for an afternoon. The sun will heat up the water and steep the tea. Later in the day, come back and your tea will have turned a deeper shade like this:
Haul it inside, toss the tea bags and stick it in the fridge to cool off. Get out a nice big glass, fill it with ice, and pour your tea over the ice cubes. If it needs a bit of sweetness, stir in some honey or a little bit of sugar, then take a big old drink.
I’ll leave you with another idea I had–I was going to take this tea with me today when I went to work outside, but decided against it because the ice cubes would melt too fast and water down the tea. But if I freeze some tea in ice cube trays, and have that ready the next time I’m heading out…you see where this is going.
Stay cool out there!