The perfect summer refreshment, brewed with fresh mint and sweetened to taste with vanilla-mint sugar syrup.
1 large handful fresh mint leaves (about 1/2 ounce)
8 cups plus 1/2 cup filtered water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 vanilla bean or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract (optional)
1. Wash mint leaves and remove stems. Place in a heat proof bowl. Boil 8 cups of water and pour over mint; cover and let steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain, reserving mint leaves. Transfer tea to a pitcher or glass jar and refrigerate until ready to serve.
2. Place strained mint leaves in a small saucepan along with sugar, vanilla bean and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a simmer; cover and steep for 10 minutes, then strain and discard solids. Transfer to a small jar or bottle and refrigerate until ready to serve.
3. To serve, fill glasses with ice. Pour tea over ice. Add 2 to 4 teaspoons of syrup to each glass to sweeten to your liking. Stir and enjoy!