Whenever we get a few sunny days, I crave summer. I want fresh sun-warmed tomatoes, salads with shaved radish and carrots from our garden. Burgers on the grill that we enjoy at our patio table.
Spring is peeking around the last corner of winter, warming the sun spots in my yard. But here in Minnesota, we're farther than I'd like until summer food and fun becomes a daily reality. SO I have a few coping strategies to help my summer deprived self wait out the weather.
The one I'll tell you about today is Sun Tea. Basically summer captured in a jar. I remember coming home from school late in the year, when we were all itching for school to be over, to a jar set out by my dad. The sun shining through the amber liquid just seemed to whisper...I'm almost here, trust I'm coming ~Summer.
Now you have to have a sunny day to make it, which is why I don't have any pictures of a finished product. The tug-of-war between warm and cold has shifted again with flurries in our forecast.
It's an easy recipe- put water, tea bags, sugar, and lemon in your preferred proportions in a clear jar or clear covered pitcher and let the sun warm the water and brew the tea. (Remember sugar+lemon+water=lemonade so put more sugar and lemon and you're making an Arnold Palmer! Yum!)
You do have to be careful with leaving it out too long if there's sugar in it.** (I'm mainly saying this as a legal disclaimer that if you leave it out for a LONG time, like days, please don't sue me for getting sick off of it :D )** I think you'll be hard pressed to wait out the anticipation for four hours because this is so good you'll want it asap.
I like putting black tea along with a fruity herbal tea so I get the strong color and taste but the lightness of the herbal tea.
Find a sunny spot and let it sit there for a few hours. Four hours normally does quite nicely, on a hot day it may be finished even quicker. I have a stone patio that gets marvelously warm in the sun so I put it there to make the process faster.
Also, add vodka, sparkling wine, or other alcohol after it is finished and you have a fun summer cocktail.
This easy, fun treat will have you pulling up a lounge chair in anticipation of summer as you sip it in delight.
God Love You
Summer Sun Tea
1/2 cup sugar
3 tea bags (vary type of tea to create your own blend)
2 Tablespoons lemon juice (I'll use a sliced lemon if I have one)
1/2 gallon water (or enough to fill the container)
Set out in the sun...for a while (4 hours is fine)
After the tea has brewed, the sugar might not have dissolved, but a quick shake or stir should take care of that.