Lemon Mint Sparkling Iced Tea

July 18, 2013



When a scorching heat wave descends upon us (such as the one we’re currently experiencing in the NE) the rule of thumb is to try to stay cool, hydrated and indoors as much as possible. And, most of all, to use your common sense. Which apparently I’m lacking. A friend just made me realize that.
Yes, because notwithstanding the heat advisory, on Tuesday I went for a long run outdoors at noon and yesterday I took a Bikram yoga class.
Not so much of a great idea for someone who suffers the heat. Both times I nearly passed out, and it took me almost 5 hours to recover properly. But then again, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I’m still here in one piece. I must have got some part right (not sure which one though).
To be honest, I don’t think that’s the end of the story. Today (which is supposed to be the hottest day of this heat wave) I’m pretty sure my common sense will trick me into try to do something even more stupid (maybe stretch on the asphalt concrete?). Because hey, third time’s the charm.



Anyway, the only thing I really don’t feel like doing during a heatwave is cooking and at times eating too. Even tea (my beloved green tea) becomes much less appealing.
But you have to keep hydrated. Since plain ol' water can get boring, I made iced tea. Which, I believe is one of the best thing ever to cool off. Common sense.
So I took my grandma’s badass lemon mint iced tea recipe, which she used to make in mass quantities every summer, and tweaked it a bit. I actually made a sparkling version by adding seltzer water. And it turned out to be fantastic.
This lemon mint sparkling iced tea keeps me happy and hydrated. It’s minty, incredibly refreshing and so yummy!

Important credit

The folks over at Polar recently contacted me for a review of their seltzer water. They sent some samples of their new summer seasonals naturally flavored seltzers which included Ginger Lemonade, Mint Mojito, and Cucumber Melon (the former was definitely my fave), but there are interesting flavors such as Pomegranate Sangria and Pina Colada that sound too good to pass up.
Good thing about Polar seltzers is that they have zero sugar, carbs, sodium, calories and fat.
They are a health-smart alternative to overindulging in high caloric drinks during the summer months. Look in the shelves at your grocery stores, I’m sure you’ll find them. You can always head on over to their website for more information: www.polarseltzer.com
To make this sparkling iced tea I used plain Polar seltzer, but I’ll definitely try something mixing in some of the other flavors next time!


Lemon Mint Sparkling Iced Tea                                                                           Print this recipe!

Note. I like my tea unsweetened but I get that it’s not to everyone’s taste. If you belong in the “I like my iced tea sweet” group then you can add a couple tablespoons of honey or maple syrup (or other sweetener) to satisfy your taste buds. Mix it with the lemon juice until it dissolves before adding it to the tea.

Ingredients
Serves 6

4 cups / 33 oz / 1 lt water
4 cups / 33 oz / 1 lt seltzer water
8 tea bags (I used Earl Grey)
2 cups / 1.8 oz / 50 gr fresh mint leaves
½ cup / 4 oz / 125 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice

Directions

In a pot bring the 4 cups of water to a boil. Remove water from heat and add tea bags and mint.
Cover with a lid and allow to steep for at least 30 minutes (1 hour is best). The longer the tea and mint steep the better. It will become very dark and intense, that’s ok, it will get diluted with the seltzer water.
Once the tea has steeped, pour the infusion through a strainer into a large pitcher or jug, discarding the mint and the tea bags. Mix in the lemon juice and refrigerate until cool.
Before serving add the seltzer water and stir well. You can also add lemon slices and some fresh mint for decoration.
Serve your sparkling iced tea over ice.

Nutrition facts

The whole pitcher of lemon mint sparkling iced tea (unsweetened) yields 30 calories, no fat, 10 grams of carbs and 0.5 grams of protein.

7 comments :

  1. I need a glass of that RIGHT NOW!

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  2. This heat wave is dreadful, I can't wait to be over with. In the meantime a glass of this refreshing tea would be just perfect!

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  3. This is all my favs all in one sip. My husband will love this! (My crazy husband who ran 22 miles in 100 degree heat!)

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  4. Sounds very refreshing, yum!

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  5. Beautiful photographs, and looks so refreshing. Btw, I got the black beans spaghetti from Whole Foods

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    1. Thanks Madhu, I'm heading over WF later today and will get my hands on some of that amazing black bean spaghetti!

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