Hey, it’s hot as heck outside so I’m making sun tea and I thought I’d share it here. In the south tea is a staple everywhere – I grew up drinking sweet tea religiously. Something that’s truly frowned upon once you go up north. People usually look at you confused when you ask for sweet tea, or they hand you sugar packets. I’m not sure why the obsession with tea is so prominent here. But I’m not mad about it. However I’m not a fan since it’s usually too sweet to tolerate. Which is why I make my own sun tea!
You can get creative with different types of tea, syrups and add-ins. Like green tea with agave, strawberry slices and chia seeds. It’s super easy and refreshening to transform your tea into a chia fresca, I actually have a green tea refresher recipe here. Chia seeds bulk it up and aid your digestion, so add them as you please whenever and wherever.
I thought it would fun to share a super simple and satisfying (whoa, alteration) beverage for the hotter months. I mean you might as well harness that sun-power and put it to good use, right? Sun tea is a basic concept that just allows you to brew tea without actually boiling water. You simply add your tea bags and water into a sealable container and set it outside to steep. Depending on the time of day and overall temperature, it usually takes 2-4 hours. If it’s centrally located in a sunny spot and hitting over 90 degrees F – it should only take a couple of hours total. Check on it every hour. For this recipe you’re waiting until it reaches a deep amber shade. That’s when you know it’s super concentrated and good to go.
This particular drink is a nod to the infamous Arnold Palmer. Which is traditionally equal parts black tea to lemon juice. However for this recipe I’m using a stronger tea base that’s actually mint infused. I’m a huge fan of Vitacost’s loose leaf teas – as I’ve mention before in my green tea refreshers recipe. They’re full of flavor and fun to transform into different cocktails or mocktails. The strawberry hibiscus green tea is another favorite of mine.
I like to get fancy with the garnishes when sharing with others. The fresh rosemary and mint really kick up the flavor. Personally, I’m a fan of a drink leaning more towards the tart side. But feel free to add more sweetener to taste. Remember once served over ice it will dilute it a bit, so it’s best to keep it a little stronger. Which is why I love to add a slice or twice of lemon to keep it fresh.
If you give this sun tea recipe a try I would love to hear what you think of it! Feel free to snap a photo and tag me on Instagram @PlantPhilosophy, using the hashtag #PlantPhilosophy so I don’t miss seeing your post. If you’re interested in picking up some ingredients from Vitacost, you can click here to save $5 off of your first order of $30 or more. They have a HUGE selection of vegan products and are constantly adding new goodies every week. I cannot recommend them enough – I stock up every month on my pantry staples.
Minty Arnold Palmer Mocktails
Yield 4 cups
Measure loose leaf tea and transfer to cheesecloth, twist and tie to secure. Alternatively you can combine loose leaf tea into water and strain afterwards.
Fill a mason jar with 3 cups of water and add loose tea. Cover and seal, placing outside in a sunny spot for 2-4 hours. Check on it every hour, you’re looking for a deep amber color.
Once fully brewed, remove tea satchel and/or strain.
Pour and whisk in liquid sweetener of choice. Adjust sweetness to taste after adding lemon juice. I like a tart tea, so I use only ¼ cup total of maple syrup. For the average person I’d recommend ½ cup - you can also use stevia, monk fruit or any sweetener you prefer. It dissolves best adding it right away while the tea is still warm.
Give everything a shake and serve over ice. Garnish with fresh mint, a sprig of fresh rosemary and lemon slices.