Southerners never tire of iced tea: summer, fall, winter and spring it is ordered in restaurants and made in homes--by the gallon! While usually enjoyed plain, either with or without sugar, this version adds the happy duo of vanilla and fresh mint, giving it a special sweetness from the vanilla and a slight tang from the mint.
- 12 Tea bags
- 1 gallon water
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups loosely packed fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- Place twelve tea bags in a gallon-sized pitcher.
- Boil about 1 quart (4 cups) of water and pour over tea bags. Allow to set for 20 minutes, then squeeze the bags into the pitcher to extract all the tea flavor.
- Add enough water to fill the pitcher with about one gallon water.
- Add the vanilla and mint leaves and let set for at least 15 minutes.
- Mint leaves may be removed or kept in the pitcher. Serve over lots of ice.
BONUS TIP: Crush the mint leaves in your hands by twisting them gently to release more of the mint flavor.