Friday, June 28, 2013

Food Friday: Simple Syrup for Mint Iced Tea

In the summer time, there is always a pitcher of iced tea ready to pour in my kitchen.  It's the house wine of Sassafras House and I drink it all day long.  Mostly, I drink unsweetened tea but sometimes the day calls for a little sweet tea.  I'm not a fan of stirring the sugar in after the tea is made because it just doesn't dissolve very well.  Rather than make a whole new pitcher of sweet tea, I just keep a jar of simple syrup in the the fridge.

Mixed into a glass of tea, simple syrup dissolves easily.  Lately, the simple syrup I am stirring up has mint in it, which means sweet tea with mint or a mint julep is an option at the end of the hot day.

To make simple syrup, mix 1 part water with 1 part sugar and bring it to a boil on medium high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.  I usually make two cups of simple syrup at a time, so that entails 2 cups of sugar and 2 cups of cold water.
Let the syrup cool a bit and then pour it into a clean mason jar to store.  The syrup will keep for a few weeks.  You'll see some sugar begin to crystallize by the mouth of the jar, but it's nothing to fret about.
To make mint simple syrup, add a handful of washed mint leaves to the pot when the syrup is being boiled, muddle them a bit to encourage the release of the mint flavor.  Strain out the leaves before storing the syrup in the fridge.

With this syrup on hand, there's always a cold glass of sweet tea at your fingertips.  If that doesn't make summer sweeter, I don't know what does.

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