Let’s just jump in and state the obvious: it’s really hot.
This time of year tends to be a long, relatively silent slog into the heart of summer, when music events are fewer, more often outdoors and an intended reprieve from the grind.
Our own series, unSUNg: Songs Uncommon and New, starts July 30, and there’s plenty to choose from in the meantime. (See below…)
So for a little change of pace, here’s a recipe for our most popular, slightly exotic iced tea recipe from receptions past. It takes a couple of extra steps, but is well worth the effort.
Summer Solstice Iced Tea
Strong tea, spiced honey, and a little mint. (This is a recipe for one two-quart pitcher’s worth of delicious tea that’s a little unusual. Make lots — it’ll go fast.)
- Prep the honey: Put 1/4 c spiced honey in a glass bowl. Add half a cinnamon stick, two whole cloves and two whole allspice. Microwave on medium power for 30-60 seconds, until good and runny. Set aside to cool slightly (about 4 minutes), then remove the spices with a fork.
- Steep the tea: Put four bags of good black tea in a coffee mug, and cover with boiling water. Let steep at least 10 minutes, maybe 15 — better quality tea won’t need as much time. Gently squeeze each bag and discard. Add the honey and mix thoroughly.
- Prep the mint: Grab a handful of fresh mint leaves, rinse thoroughly, then rub them slightly between your hands to release their flavor.
- Stack the ice: Grab a clean pitcher and layer ice and mint until the pitcher is about 2/3 full. Pour the tea and honey mixture over the top — this will melt quite a bit of the ice, so you may need to add more. Fill to the top with water.
You probably won’t need more sugar or honey, but you might want to put out a few lemon slices: believe it or not, even with the mint and the tea and the honey and the spice, some people like lemon, too. But even kids like this one, on a hot day or otherwise.