Summer demands pitchers of iced tea. While a nice cold glass of black or green tea on cubes is always there for a refreshing jolt, a nettle-peppermint infusion over ice offers a different set of attributes. Peppermint is commonplace, of course, but even if you haven’t heard of nettles, you’ve probably told them to fuck off once or twice. You see they are usually called weeds—stinging nettles, in fact, as they have tiny little thorns that hurt like fiberglass splinters when they get under your skin.
Read more on pain and tea after the jump…
Nettle’s healthy attributes, however, greatly outweigh the plant’s ability to be a nuisance. Rich vitamins A, C, iron, potassium, magnesium and calcium, they can be used to treat everything from eczema to arthritis. You can find them at your local apothecary or online, and an infusion is a great way to harness some of the healthful benefits. (Salads are another; some other time.)
3 Tbsp dried nettles
1 Tbsp dried peppermint
3 c filtered water
A pitcher filled with ice
While bringing water to a boil, put the nettle and peppermint into a clean French press (ideally one that’s never been used to make coffee) or another tea-making device. When the water is boiling pour it over the nettle and peppermint and set the plunger and lid in place. Do not push the plunger down. Let the mixture sit overnight.
In the morning, fill your pitcher with ice and pour in the infusion. Let the tea rest on the counter for 30 minutes so that some of the ice melts and dilutes the infusion. Pour into glasses and garnish with a damn lemon wheel.
This is a stout glass of tea. The nettles give the infusion a viscosity that satisfies and the peppermint lingers pleasingly on the palate—an icer with potency that satisfies more in the vein of beer or white wine. It is also awesome mixed with green and black iced teas.