Man. Yesterday was hot. 90 degrees hot. Between sticking my head in the freezer and taking ice-cold showers like a serial killer, I made a cool and refreshing drink to beat the heat.
I think the mint in this drink is really key. It's cooling (hence the name, cooler) and light. The fruits and sweetener are flexible for this cooler. All you need is the juice of any fruit you like and, if you like, a little extra sweetness which you can get from honey, stevia or agave nectar. Or regular sugar. Pick your poison. I chose to use my lemongrass syrup and it added the perfect fragrant, citrusy sweetness.
Any fruit for garnish is fine. Blueberries would look nice, or some round citrus slices of orange, lemon and lime. Use your imagination.
So this is what I used:
First thing you want to do is make the mint tea, so it has time to cool. If you're in a rush, a trick I love is called pulling. It's just pouring the tea back and forth from one container to another to help it cool quicker. It's an art-form in some countries. Check this guy out. It's just a 30 second video. And if you have 2 minutes to spare, this dude just takes it to a WHOLE other level.
Then you can just stick it in the freezer to chill really fast.
Anyway, you need two tablespoons of dried mint leaves in your teapot. Or french press. Oh la la. Bevery Hills, Chi, Chi, Chi! (Do you know who I'm quoting?)
Steep for about a minute, depending on how strong you like your mint tea.
Strain out the leaves and allow the tea to cool down. In the meantime, squeeze about a cup of juice out of the oranges.
I got 1 1/4 cups out of 4 juicy oranges.
Once the mint tea has cooled add the orange juice to it.
Then add your simple syrup (a cup of sugar dissolved into a cup of water over heat, can be flavored with any herb, spice or fruit you like).
Remove your mint from its stems and leave the leaves whole. Then slice your strawberries.
Add both to the pitcher you will be using.
Pour the mixture into the pitcher and chill in the fridge.
Make sure your dog doesn't try to knock over your mint cooler while you try to take a picture of it. Poor guy was loving the mint smell and just couldn't take it anymore.
Pour over ice and enjoy! And spike!
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2 tbsp dried mint leaves
1 1/4 cups of fresh squeezed orange juice
1 cup of simple syrup (1 cup of sugar dissolved in 1 cup of water over heat)
a small bunch of fresh mint leaves, for garnish
a few sliced strawberries (or oranges or any other fruit), for garnish
Steep the dried mint leaves in about 4 cups of boiling water.
Strain out the mint leaves after 30 seconds to a minute, depending how strong you like your mint tea. Place in fridge to cool. If you're in a rush pour it back and forth from one container to the next about 5 times and then stick it in the freezer. Don't forget about it being in the freezer though!
Squeeze and strain about 1 cup of orange juice into a bowl. Add it to the cooled mint tea.
Add a cup of simple syrup to the mixture and stir.
Slice up the strawberries and remove the mint leaves from their stems, keeping them whole.
Add the fresh mint and sliced strawberries to the pitcher you will be using.
Pour the mint tea mixture into the pitcher and chill.
Serve over ice to beat the heat with this sweet treat.
Spike it with your favorite liquor to make it extra special ;)