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Summer is here and one of my favorite ways to cool off in the summer is with a great big glass of iced tea. If I'm being honest, iced tea is one of my favorite drinks year round but it's especially good in the heat of the summer. While I love a glass of unsweetened iced tea without anything added to it, I also like trying different flavors of tea as well as adding fresh fruits and herbs to it to make it into something special. One of the most refreshing summer iced teas is Bigelow's Plantation Mint tea.
The great thing about Bigelow Tea is that it's all American. It's American made by an American family and it's sold at an American retailer, Walmart! Plus Bigelow Tea is is supporting American troops by sending almost 4 million bags of tea to the troops overseas with Bigelow's Tea for Troops Program. Did you know that Bigelow Tea has the America's largest working tea garden at their Charleston Tea Plantation? They do!
So when I decided to use the Plantation Mint tea for my iced tea recipe I began by thinking what flavors would go well with mint. My first thought was blueberry and where there is blueberry there is often lemon. I thought the combination of lemon, blueberry, and mint would make a delicious summer iced tea. I wanted to do the Plantation Mint tea justice since it was developed by Eunice Bigelow in 1961 and has remained the same delicious blend of ever since. Given that the Tea Plantation is in Charleston, I thought the blueberry mint tea sweetened with sugar sounded like the perfect southern iced tea.
Initially I just added the blueberries and a few lemon slices to the iced tea but the flavor wasn't there. Then I tried muddling the blueberries and lemon in with the iced tea. It was better but still wasn't what I was looking for. Finally, I put sugar, lemon juice, and blueberries in a food processor and made a puree. This was the perfect compliment to the Plantation Mint tea. All three flavors really shone in the iced tea and the sugar lightly sweetened it. I prepared it two different ways. For one glass of iced tea I strained out the blueberry solids and the other I left them in the glass. I liked the iced tea both ways so it's really up to your own preference which way you make the tea. I will say that the blueberries give the tea a gorgeous purple hue. This would be a wonderful tea to make in a pitcher and serve at a picnic or to take out on the porch on a hot day.
- 1 Bigelow Plantation Mint tea bag
- 2 c. water
- 2 T. fresh blueberries
- 1 T. fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 T. sugar
- Lemon wedge and mint leaves for garnish
- Heat the water in a teapot until it is just simmering, do not boil.
- Place the Plantation Mint tea bag in a large mug and pour the simmering water over top of the tea bag. Steep for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add the blueberries, lemon juice, and sugar to a food processor. Process until smooth. At this point you can choose to strain out the solids or leave them in. It is your choice.
- Fill a tall glass with ice cubes. Add the blueberry puree. Slowly pour the Plantation Mint Tea over top of the ice and puree. Mix gently with a tall iced tea spoon.
- Add additional ice if needed then garnish with a lemon wedge and mint leaves.