I love mason jars. Anything stored in a mason jar just seems so much more special – beans, lentils, soup, chocolate chips, compost tea, whatever. A mason jar makes its contents look homey, rustic, quaint, and beautiful. So when I was thinking about making iced tea the other day, the only vessel I considered was, of course, the humble mason jar.
This iced tea isn’t called simple for nothing. You basically throw all of the stuff in the mason jar and that’s it. And I know a lot of people talk about sun tea. I think this could more appropriately be called a ‘counter tea’ or a ‘fridge tea’. You are more than welcome to stick it outside to warm in the sun, but you are equally welcome to just put it anywhere – it works just as well.
I’ve flavoured my iced tea with mint leaves (from my plant on the deck – another benefit to container gardening!) because I like the taste and I like the bit of cheery green colour, and because the tea is steeping very gently in the fridge, the flavour of the mint is really very mild. I also like to throw in a few berries – blueberries, in this case, because I’d gone picking the day before, but really whatever berries you have – for colour, flavour, and well, just all-around cuteness.
- a mason jar and lid
- 2 bags of your favourite herbal tea (if it is a very mild flavour, try three bags – I think fruity flavours work best)
- a handful of mint leaves, washed
- a handful of blueberries, also washed
- enough water to fill the mason jar
- OPTIONAL: 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice; 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
Instructions: Fill the mason jar with water, and dangle the tea bags in, with the label of the bags hanging over the edge of the mason jar on the outside. Toss in the mint leaves, put on the lid, and then give the whole thing a good shake. Take off the lid, toss in the berries, and put in the fridge for about 24 hours.
Now pour yourself a tall glass of iced herbal tea, go sit on the veranda, listen to some fabulous folk music with banjo pickin’ (like CBC Radio 2’s Deep Roots show), and enjoy something akin to simple country living.
NOTE 1: If you decide to omit the berries until serving, you can keep this on the counter. With the berries, the fridge is the safest home and one that will guarantee the longevity of your tea.
NOTE 2: If you like tea with a little more zip and zing, add the lemon juice and the maple syrup. They’ll serve to both tart up and sweeten the tea, giving it a little more flavour.
© 2014 Backyard Owl