Monday, May 24, 2010
A sure sign of summer:Mint Lemonade
Even though my school year has four days remaining, I feel that summer has arrived. Today I made my first jug of mint tea lemonade using my mother's handed down recipe. This special brew hints of many summers past. It is summer in a glass!
Pictured above is a healthy crop of mint which is growing in our backyard. This nomadic plant has ancestral roots in Indiana. Once when I was visiting my parents in Michigan, I brought a sprig or two of mint tea (brought north from Indiana) back to the plains of Kansas in my suitcase. Laid to rest between my t-shirts these offspring wilted and looked to be gone from this world. Optimistically I placed the limp stalks into the earth, watered them, and gave myself to dreams of fresh mint tea. Behold the plants grew, and grew, and even multiplied. Since then, the tea plants has been split and shared and moved to my third Kansas home.
We all have loved this tea/lemonade mix that my mother created. The recipe has never been written down so I always hope to get the mix as I fondly remember it. I just took my mom a sample and she declared it "just right". My brother used to take a big jug of it to football practice back in his Goshen High Days. It has made the guest list at many special dinners, anniversaries, and graduation celebrations. People just trying it for the first time usually find it quite unique and refreshing. "What is this stuff?" they ask. Someone told me once that it is good with a bit of gin added and I have to wonder if that story ended with a guy sporting a lampshade with a southwestern motif. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Here is my attempt to record...
Mother Mary's Mint Lemonade
4-5 sprigs of fresh mint
1 can of frozen lemonade or powdered lemonade mix
Steep tea using the fresh mint. Prepare the lemonade mixture substituting the mint tea for 1/3 of the water requested. Serve cold with ice and a sprig of mint on top.
Happy Happy Summer,