Can you believe we're only a week away from Labor Day? Bet you're looking for some cool new drinks to serve at (or bring to) that barbecue, right? Well have we the perfect twist on iced tea for you ... it's fancy-sounding and looks and tastes amazing -- but it's really ultra simple to make.
It's billed as a non-alcoholic Watermelon Refresher Tea, created by Top Chef's Gail Simmons and inspired by farmer's markets. This would make the perfect punch for a backyard party for kids and adults, though we've included directions for spiking the drink for grown-ups if you're so inclined. Or you could indulge in a glass while lounging in a hammock during those beautiful end-of-summer afternoons.
Watermelon Refresher Tea
Makes 4 servings
1 bottle of tea (Simmons uses Pure Leaf Sweet Tea)
4 sprigs fresh mint (or try tarragon), plus more for garnish
3 cups seedless watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 seedless cucumber, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (can substitute any cucumber that's been seeded -- or skip cucumbers altogether if they're not your thing)
3 tablespoons lime juice
Pinch of cayenne
1. Add tea and mint (or tarragon) to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer on medium heat. Remove from heat and steep for 10 minutes. Strain into a heatproof container and cool thoroughly.
2. Combine watermelon and cucumber in a blender. Add lime juice and blend until smooth. Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a pitcher. Add cayenne and stir.
3. Pour 1/2 cup mint tea and 1/2 cup watermelon mixture into each of 4 ice-filled glasses. Garnish each with a mint sprig.
Note: Step 1 can be made a day ahead and refrigerated. To make a cocktail, add a 1-ounce shot of tequila to each drink.
Gail Simmons and Pure Leaf have partnered this summer to Share the Love of Leaves to benefit Wholesome Wave, a nonprofit that helps increase access to local farmers market foods to underserved communities. For every like, share, or comment on Pure Leaf’s Facebook or newly launched Tumblr pages, or the usage of #loveofleaves on Twitter or Instagram, a $1 donation will be made to Wholesome Wave.
Image via Pure Leaf