Summer time is fast approaching.  Recently, my wife made some mint tea that made me say, “Wow!  That’s refreshing!”  Those are the kind of drinks that you want in summer.  Cool and light.  Nothing  heavy.  So here is that drink and another to get you started.

The tea comes from the Simply in Season cookbook.  My wife used apple mint from our flower bed for this one.

3 C water
6 sprigs fresh mint, well rinsed
1/3 C sugar (or to taste)

Bring water to boil.  Add mint, cover, remove from heat, and steep for at least 15 minutes.  Remove mint.  Add sugar and stir  until dissolved.  This concentrate may be used immediately or frozen and used later.

2 C orange juice
1/2 C lemon juice
water and ice

Combine juices in 1/2 gallon pitcher.  Add concentrate and water and ice to fill the pitcher.  Chill and serve with an appropriate garnish (e.g. mint or orange or lemon slices).

The second drink is surprisingly simple, yet uniquely refreshing.  My wife and I first tasted it during a mini-vacation to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.  Alas, I can’t recall the restaurant that  served it to us.  And that’s a shame because it was a small intimate place that I’d highly recommend.

English cucumber, rinsed and freshly sliced

Add cucumber to water.  Chill and serve.

That’s it.  Simple, huh?  But really good.  Make only the amount you’ll use, so that the cucumber stays fresh in the water.