The next time you make iced tea, sweeten it with a batch of intensely minty simple syrup made with garden spearmint. (Gardeners, please note: Mint will spread rapidly, seeking world dominance, so consider growing it in a container.) This syrup can be used for mint juleps as well as for iced tea. For a less intense version, strain out mint leaves as soon as the syrup has cooled.


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • A generous handful of chopped mint leaves
  • Unflavored iced tea
  • Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish
  1. Heat sugar and water in a nonreactive saucepan until sugar dissolves and mixture is clear. Add chopped mint leaves and cook a minute or two longer. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Cover and place in fridge for at least three hours. Strain out the mint leaves and store syrup in the fridge in a glass container for up to one week.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon (or to taste) of syrup to each tall glass of iced tea. Garnish drinks with fresh mint.  
Eat Where You Live book cover"Eat Where You Live" 

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From "Eat Where You Live", Copyright © 2008 by Lou Bendrick. Used by arrangement with The Mountaineers Books.