Let the warmth of the sun brew the beverage for your picnic. Here's the traditional recipe, plus four refreshing flavor variations.
Basic Sun Tea Use 4 to 6 teaspoons loose tea or 4 to 6 tea bags. If you're using loose tea, measure it into a tea ball or 100-percent-cotton cheesecloth; tie cheesecloth with string. Place tea ball or bags in a 2-quart clear glass container. Add 1-1/2 quarts cold water; cover. Let stand in sunlight or at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours or till tea reaches the desired strength. (Keep the container away from combustible materials. Sunlight shining through glass and liquid can concentrate a beam of light that may start a fire.) Remove tea ball or bags. Serve tea over ice with sugar and lemon, if desired. Store in the refrigerator. Makes about 8 (6-ounce) servings.
Very Berry Tea Brew tea as directed. Blend or process 1 to 1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries or raspberries in a blender container or food processor bowl till smooth. If desired, strain puree to remove seeds. Stir berry mixture into brewed tea. If desired, garnish each serving with fresh berries.
Rosemary Garden Tea Bruise 2 or 3 rosemary sprigs with the back of a spoon. Add rosemary with the tea ball or bags. Brew tea as directed. Remove rosemary before serving. If desired, garnish each serving with fresh rosemary.
Ginger Tea Add a 2- to 3-inch piece of gingerroot, thinly sliced, with the tea ball or bags. Brew tea as directed. Strain tea before serving. If desired, garnish each serving with a ginger-flavor candy stick.
Hint-of-Mint Tea Add 3/4 to 1 teaspoon snipped fresh mint to the loose tea or 4 to 6 large mint leaves with the tea bags. Brew tea as directed. Remove mint before serving. If desired, garnish with fresh mint sprigs.