(Mass Appeal) – Even though we’re approaching September, you can still take in any ounce of summer we can get! To do so, Betty Rosbottom, Cookbook Author and Chef, shares a cooling Julep Iced Tea for what’s left of the warm days of summer.

This tea is prepared with a generous amount of fresh mint leaves that are steeped with julienne lemon rind and mild tea (English or Irish Breakfast varieties, for example,) is sweetened with sugar and scented with lemon juice. Served in glasses filled with ice cubes and garnished with fresh mint sprigs, the julep tea makes a cooling accompaniment to afternoon sweets or to serve at a summer lunch or supper

Julep Iced Tea

2 to 3 lemons
1 cup loosely packed mint leaves
3 standard (regular) size black tea bags, preferably English or Irish Breakfast tea
6 1/2 tablespoons sugar plus 1 1/2 tablespoons extra if needed
2 cups boiling water
2 cups cold water
Ice cubes
Mint sprigs for garnish

  1. Carefully, with a sharp paring knife or with a vegetable peeler, remove the rind from one lemon. Be sure to cut away just the color portion of the rind and not the white bitter pith beneath. Cut the strips into thin julienne strips to yield about 1 tablespoon and set aside. Juice enough of the lemons to yield 5 tablespoons and set aside.
  2. Place the mint leaves in a large, heat-proof glass bowl or measuring cup, and with your fingers tear the leaves and then rub them against the bottom of the bowl bruising them to help release their flavor. Add the lemon rind and tea bags and cover with 2 cups boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes, then remove the tea bags, pressing down on them with your fingers to squeeze out extra liquid. Mix in the sugar and lemon juice and steep for another 10 minutes. Strain the mixture into a nonreactive pitcher and add the cold water.
  3. Cover and refrigerate until chilled. The tea will not be overly sweet. If you want a sweeter taste, gradually add up to 1 1/2 tablespoons extra sugar. If desired, you can also add a small squeeze of lemon juice.
  4. Serve tea in glasses filled with ice cubes. Garnish each serving with a mint sprig. Makes 1 quart or enough to serve 3 to 4.