TeaYou’ll need:

I bunch (a good handful) of Moroccan Mint

16 fl oz of just boiled water (makes two mugs)

2 tsp good quality loose-leaf green tea

1 tbsp clear honey per serving

Slice of lemon and spring of Moroccan Mint to decorate

So, 1st June and outside a howling gale and torrential rain. Time then, for a summer cocktail, only recreated here as as a warming drink. Well this is England after all.

Moroccan Mint is easy to grow – basically it’s just like your common or garden mint – come mid Spring, a bit of sunshine, a few heavy showers and it’s away, only do keep it in a separate pot or it’ll be all over your garden.  I sink terracotta pots into the ground so the roots can take up water and don’t dry out.  The pots look good in the herb garden too especially when sunk in groups.  But do water mint in the morning if it gets really hot later in the year.

Moroccan Mint has large (for mint) deep veined dark green leaves  and has a strong, sharp taste and fragrance. Traditionally Moroccan Mint Tea is sweetened with sugar and simmered over a stove which allows the sugar to caramelise and thicken.  It’s then poured from a height which gives the surface a frothy appearance.

But this is ‘Back to the Garden’s, ‘Back to the Kitchen’, so I’m using honey from my bees instead of sugar, giving a smoother, more natural taste and that distinctive honey aroma.  And much better for your teeth too!  Common sense say one teaspoon per cup, but I have a sweet tooth and love honey so I have two.

Take a good handful of freshly picked Moroccan Mint, it takes a lot of mint to make a good mint tea, save a few sprigs for decoration, and infuse the rest for five minutes  in a medium sized pot – I use a coffee teapot rather than a teapot – more Moroccan – using just-boiled (not boiling) water. Then add two tsps of good quality loose-leaf green tea and leave for at least a further two minutes (longer if you like) before pouring into cups using a tea strainer..

Stir 1 tspn of clear honey, add a slice of lemon and sprig of mint for decoration.

A but different to traditional tea, but warming with a hint of summer to come.

If its a hot day, chill the strained liquid and to serve pour over ice and a shot of vodka.