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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Mason Jar Lemonade Iced Tea

I’m a big fan (huge actually) of fresh, homemade, lemonade and brewed iced tea. But, since there are only two of us, it doesn’t make sense to make a big pitcher.

 Whether you’re enjoying time in the barn, lounging in the garden or just running to town for errands, spring is a great time to enjoy a batch of good old fashioned refreshment.

Here’s what you need:
Quart mason jars (with lids)
Fresh lemons
Ice cubes
 lemon juice
 black tea bags or flavored tea bags
Fresh mint or lemon verbena from the garden
Here’s what to do:
Fill jars halfway with warm water (the warm water helps dissolve  honey). Cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice into a jar, and plop the cut lemon into the jar as well, making the water tart and filled with little bits of pulp and flavor. If you really want to kick up the tartness – add some fresh lemon juice (about a teaspoon) to the mix. Then add as much sugar or honey as you like (depending on your mood and the weather it could be as little as a teaspoon or as much as 2 tablespoons). Top it off with ice till it’s nearly overflowing. Seal the lid and shake the hell out of it until its one big, frothy, icy delight. There you have it. Farm fresh, all natural, and ready for travel.
For the Iced Tea:
I just pour hot water from a kettle into room-temperature jars with  black tea-bag and let it cool on the kitchen counter. Then I drop in a lemon slice and a bit of sugar, some ice, a sprig of mint and sit it in the fridge alongside the jars of lemonade. 
I make several of these and stash them in the fridge so I’m never out of a refreshing drink. Instead of grabbing a can of soda, I grab a cold jar of real lemonade in a reusable container, which not only tastes amazing, but feels more authentic than any processed beverage.
Need to please a crowd?
Try this “Lemonade for 100” recipe from the “Joy of Cooking”.
Boil for 10 minutes
4 cups water
8 cups sugar
Cool the syrup. Then stir in:
71/2 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice
To serve, simply mix the concentrate with 4 gallons of cold water and serve over ice.
There you have it – enough lemonade concentrate to quench the thirst of any army.
Add style to your outdoor gathering by serving it in pint-sized mason jars with bowls of sliced lemons, mint and lemon verbena as garnishes.
                Thanks for having Tea With Me !!!