Mint Iced Tea

Recipe By : Texas Home Cooking - ISBN 1-55832-059-8

Mint Syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup mint leaves
Traditional Texas Tea
fresh mint sprigs -- for garnish

Morton Gill Clark had to revise the first draft of his 1970 cookbook, "The Wide World of Texas Cooking", to add an iced tea recipe. He got so many complaints from Texas reviewers about the absence of the beloved drink that he made it the lead-off recipe in the book. Clark suggested serving a mint syrup on the side for a sweetener, similar to what we do here.

Boil the syrup ingredients together in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the liquid is clear. Set it aside; it will steep as it cools. When it has cooled to room temperature, strain the syrup into a creamer or other small pitcher.

Offer a gargantuan glass of Traditional Texas Tea over ice, accompanied by the mint syrup. Garnish with the mint sprigs. The tea is best the day it's made, but the syrup, refrigerated, keeps for weeks.

Serves 1 Texan

Variation: For a stouter version of Minted Iced Tea, lace the tea with a healthy splash of bourbon.

Old-style iced teas didn't use mint flavoring, but it's a popular addition today, and, in the opionion of Jim Mattox, a Texas politico, it is an essential ingredient. When we had dinner with Mattox a few years ago at an upscale Dallas restaurant, we all ordered iced tea, but the drink arrived at the table without the garnish. The waiter explained that they hadn't been able to get any from their suppliers. Mattox was so confounded that he went into the kitchen, escorted the chef and staff out the back door, and showed them where they should be growing mint in the alley.

Garry's Home Cookin'
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