This is one of those recipes that sounded good upon my first sighting of it but it really exceeded expectations once we sampled it. And who doesn’t love that kind of payoff, am I right?
Of course I am!
I’m not even a fan of mint, and you use quite a bit of it in this really easy recipe. Fortunately, along with a few other great additions, the mint wasn’t some overpowering powerhouse of powerful flavor I usually feel it is. The great thing, too, is that it really was so refreshing on a really hot day.
The thing I love best about this recipe is its shortcut – a can of frozen lemonade concentrate. If you really wanted to, you could squeeze some fresh lemon juice and bring it up to the liquid equivalent needed for the recipe, I suppose…but why? Just go with it and take the easy way. You’ll get your refreshing beverage that much quicker.
But wait! That doesn’t mean this recipe doesn’t have plenty of fresh goodness in it. We followed the advice of one of the recipe reviewers (found by clicking the source link below) and put lots of fresh, sliced citrus into the drink.
The mint came from my mother-in-law’s garden and I could not bless her enough for it. It was so much better even than getting fresh mint at the store. Plus the leaves were enormous!
This may look like a lot of sugar, but know that we doubled the recipe. We felt like the amount called for was the perfect amount, making the drink not too sweet or too….un-sweet. You’ll have to be the judge of what amount works for you and tweak from there if necessary.
After the tea and mint leaves have steeped and the sugar’s dissolved, just start adding the ingredients together in a large container. Isn’t this beverage jar a friend let us borrow so cute?
In goes that easy, thawed lemonade concentrate. Almost ready to taste!
Don’t forget all those pretty and yummy citrus slices! If you’re making this drink a day ahead to save time, slice your fruit the next day and throw it in about thirty minutes to an hour before serving.
It really is surprising how much I enjoyed this drink. In fact, we all loved it. Even the hubby got into the refreshing spirit and by the end of the day we’d drank pretty much all of it. There’s some options below to turn it into an adults-only version, but for really hot days when you actually need to get other things done, this is a nice change and quenches thirst. I can see this being the perfect beverage for a party, too. It’s easy, fun and as pretty to look at as it is good to drink. Cheers!
Lemonade Iced Tea
from Southern Living, July 2009
Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: about 10 minutes Level: easy Serves: 6
- 3 cups water
- 2 family-size tea bags
- 1 (1-oz.) package fresh mint leaves (about 1 cup loosely packed)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 cups cold water
- 1 (6-oz.) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
- Garnish: fresh citrus slices
Bring 3 cups water to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan. Remove from heat, add tea bags, and stir in fresh mint. Cover and steep 10 minutes.
Remove and discard tea bags and mint. Stir in sugar until dissolved.
Pour tea into a 3-qt. container, and stir in 4 cups cold water and lemonade concentrate. Serve over ice. Garnish, if desired.
Bourbon-Lemonade Iced Tea: Prepare recipe as directed, and stir in 1 cup bourbon. Makes 9 cups.
Spiced Dark Rum-Lemonade Iced Tea: Prepare recipe as directed, and stir in 1 cup spiced dark rum. Makes 9 cups.