It’s the first day of summer and the heat is on! Cool off with one of these fun twists on classic iced tea:
In a large saucepan, bring blueberries, mint, and lemon juice to boil, stirring occasionally for 7 minutes. Remove from heat and pour through a strainer into a bowl. Use the back of a spoon to squeeze juice out if necessary. Using same saucepan, bring water to a boil and add in tea bags. Let stand for 3-5 minutes and discard tea bags. Stir in sugar and blueberry, lemon, and mint mixture. Pour contents into a covered pitcher and chill for 1 hour. Serve over ice with mint leaves as garnish.
1. Combine the hibiscus flowers and 6 cups of water in a pot large enough to hold them. Bring the water to a boil, and let it bubble for one minute. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the flowers to steep for 2 hours; strain and discard flowers (or save them for another use)
2. At the same time you’re working on step one, you can work on this step. Combine the sugar and 1 cup of water in a small pot over low heat and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the raspberries to the pot, and using a potato masher (or something similar), press on the raspberries until they turn into a pulp. Remove from heat and allow to sit until cool. Strain the raspberry syrup, discarding all solids.
3. You can also do this step in conjunction with the first two steps. Put 8 -1/2 cups of water in a large pot and bring to a boil. One it is boiling, add the tea bags, stir, and turn off the heat. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. Lift out the tea bags, pressing to release any liquid back into the pot. You should have about two quarts.
4. Combine all three elements into a one-gallon pitcher (or two smaller ones). While stirring, pour in the chia seeds. Refrigerate overnight (12 hours or so), stirring or shaking every once in a while to keep redistributing the chia seeds. The long overnight allows the chia seeds to develop a good gel-like texture, plus the tea gets nice and cold.