Hibiscus Green Iced Tea


This herbal iced tea is the perfect summer drink: delicious and refreshing. It has a fruity flavor and packs a punch of antioxidants, which are a good idea when you're spending time outside in the sun, especially in the summer when the sun's rays are strongest. (UV radiation from the sun causes oxidative damage in the skin and antioxidants can help neutralize this damage.)

Green tea and hibiscus are antioxidant superstars. A recent study from Portugal tested 19 different drinks and found that hibiscus and green had more antioxidants than any other beverage.

In addition to hibiscus flowers and green tea, I added mint to this infusion to make it even more refreshing. I used peppermint but spearmint would also work well. (In New York City, buy fragrant dried mint in bulk at Fairway.) If you have gastroesophageal reflux, skip the mint.

You can drink this tea hot if you want, but this summer I'm serving it cold. Drink it unsweetened, with a squeeze of lemon if you wish.

1 part dried peppermint or 1/4 cup (or 2 parts fresh peppermint or 1/2 cup packed)
2 parts dried green tea leaves or 1/2 cup
3 parts dried hibiscus flowers or 3/4 cup
Fresh lemon to garnish

Put on 4 cups of filtered water to boil.

To a glass French press, add 1/4 cup peppermint, 1/2 cup green tea leaves, and 3/4 cup peppermint leaves.

Once the water comes to a boil, pour it into the French press, covering the leaves and flowers. Place the lid on the carafe but do not strain it. Allow the tea to steep for 30 minutes or more.

Press the solids down to the bottom of the glass carafe. Add 4 cups of cold filtered water to a glass pitcher. (If you're in a hurry, use 4 cups of ice cubes and water combined.) Pour the steeped tea into the pitcher. If necessary, cool to room temperature. Transfer the tea to the fridge to chill for several hours, preferably overnight.

To serve, pour the tea slowly over ice cubes to fill each glass. Garnish with fresh lemon if you wish.