Mint Tea – ‘Mint Cooler’
To be honest, this is just a fancy name for mint tea, but for a unique taste you should use the real peppermint, Mentha piperita. Mints are so easy to grow, even in pots on your doorstep or window-sill, that it’s worth having your own selection for a wide variety of flavours. Moroccan mint, spearmint, lemon mint or (for something really unusual)mint, are all good as teas or used to flavour other foods.
Mint is a traditional ingredient of many summer cooling drinks, particularly the juleps of the southern United States – perfect on a warm summer’s evening sitting on the veranda in your rocking chair.
3 large sprigs of peppermint
600ml or 20fl oz boiling water
1 level tbsp brown caster sugar
1. Finely chop the peppermint leaves and stalks, leaving two small sprigs aside.
2. Use the water to make tea with the leaves in the normal way.
3. Add the sugar to the teapot.
4. Leave to cool completely.
5. Strain and transfer to a glass jug.
6. Chill before serving, garnished with the reserved mint sprigs.
All the mints have medicinal properties, related mostly to their content of menthol. The Japanese have cultivated mint for 4,000 years just to extract the menthol, and in Egypt, remnants of mint have been found in pharaohs’ tombs that are 3,000 years old. You’ll find references to mint in Greek mythology and in the Bible.
Essential oils from mint are still used medicinally as one of the most effective treatments for indigestion.