Sunday, March 24, 2013

Kuwaiti Orange (Sp)iced Tea

As I sit here in the middle of what I'd like to call "second winter," I'm desperate for any sign of spring.
A peak of sunshine behind the clouds?
A hopeful forecast with a high above 45 degrees?
I'll take anything at this point. I've even begun shopping for spring clothes, despite the fact that I can't really wear them for another 2-4 weeks (crossing my fingers the actual number is closer to 2 than 4...). Lovely sundresses and cute tops just gathering dust while I reluctantly grab another sweater each day.
Don't get me wrong, I love sweaters. Sweater season is my favorite part of the year. But too much of something can wear on a person after awhile, and I can honestly say I can't wait to ditch the sweaters in favor of light jackets and dresses.
While I can't control the weather, I can control what I cook, which led to me whipping up a delicious batch of this AMAZING summery tea. Packed with tons of flavor, spicy notes, and fragrant orange, I promise a batch of this stuff will be gone in minutes.
It's like sunshine in a cup for when there isn't any outside.

To make four cups of this tea, grab these ingredients:

1 large strip of orange peel
1 cinnamon stick
4 black tea bags
4 cups of water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 quarter-sized coins ginger
3 sprigs fresh mint

Recipe adapted from Aarti Sequeira

Start by combining your water, orange peel, and cinnamon stick in a saucepan or teapot and bring to a boil. Then add your tea bags and soak for 5-7 minutes (5 if you prefer sweeter tea, 7 if you like it more on the bitter side).

Let your tea cool and begin making your sweetening syrup. Combine the sugar, a 1/2 cup water, and your ginger into a saucepan and heat until it boils, without stirring. Turn off the heat and add your mint leaves, letting the mixture cool for about 20 minutes. When it's done, strain the syrup to get the mint and ginger out, adding as much as you'd like to your main tea mixture. Be sure to taste it occasionally - you don't want your tea to be too sweet!

When it's done, garnish with an orange slice and an extra cinnamon stick.

Sip until you feel like you're basking under the sun in some remote island.

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