Being of fair hair and pale skin I’ve never been suited to the warmer weathers the south has to offer. I’m used to summers filled with comforting rain and clouded skies. Instead down here I’m faced with sweltering tube lines and the daily risk of sunburn. In the two and a half years I’ve lived in the south, there are however things I’ve grown to love about summer time.
The fact that it doesn’t rain every day. Always a good start. The chance to BBQ anything humanly possible. The long evening sunlight streaming through the front window. That first sip of iced tea. There’s a market just opposite my office on a Friday – it’s filled with endless foodie treats, not least their fruit iced tea. You can’t beat that first sip of an ice cold iced tea on a hot London summers day. Especially when it’s as refreshing and fruity as this…
Iced tea is so beautifully versatile. You can change a whole pitcher so quickly by swapping your teas, fruits, syrups – you get the picture. I love the subtle hint of raspberry which is hightened by a simple squeeze of lemon in this drink. It’s a great drink for when you want something light and refreshing but sans the alcohols. Now saying that, if you want to add a shot or two of tequila then go for it. In fact you can pour me one too and invite me over as you sound like my kinda friend.
Ingredients (makes one big pitcher)
200 grams fresh raspberries (roughly 2 cups)
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup of water
4 sprigs of fresh mint, plus extra for serving
5 rooibos tea bags (you could always use normal tea here)
8 cups of hot water, 2 cups of cold water
Juice of 1-2 lemons, taste after the juice of one
Handful of ice
1. Put on ‘Comet, come to me’ by Me’Shell NdegeOcello. Hypnotic summer time listening.
2. Place the sugar and water in a pan and heat gently. While the syrup starts to simmer bash the raspberries and mint together to release their flavours and then add to the syrup. Simmer gently for 10 minutes until the sugar has melted then take off the heat and leave to cool.
3. Boil a kettle and fill a heat proof, key phrase here is heat proof, pitcher with the hot water and add your teabags. Steep the teabags for 10 minutes then remove.
4. While the teabags steep strain the syrup to remove the raspberry pulp and mint leaves. Add the strained simple syrup to the pitcher and stir well to dissolve. Then top up with the cold water and a good handful of ice.
4. Squeeze in the lemon juice, add a few slices of lemon and sprigs of mint then place in the fridge over night. The next day – voilla! Ready and waiting for you raspberry and mint iced tea.