PERRE COLEMAN MAGNESS is a food writer and recipe developer, and the cook behind the website The Runaway Spoon. Her work also appears in The Christian Science Monitor Online and Edible Memphis. She lives, mostly in the kitchen, in her hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.
This is sweet and cold and refreshing and everything you want on a hot, hot day. It’s perfect for dessert, or as a palate cleanser, or as an interesting take on a pre-dinner drink. It can be scooped into great big balls, or served in little shot glasses. It’s a great refresher after a casual barbecue meal, or an elegant addition to a fine silver dinner party. But, mostly, its just plain good. Use the same tea bags you would for a regular sweet tea – I like Luzianne – and a nice big handful of mint.
1 family size teabag
3 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 bunch fresh mint leaves
½ cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
Place the tea bag in a 4 cup measuring jug or bowl (glass is easiest). Pour over 3 cups of boiling water and leave to steep until the tea is a dark amber color. You need a nice dark tea to get the flavor, a little darker than if you were drinking it straight up. Reserve the remaining cup of brewed tea in the measuring cup.
Pour 2 cups of the brewed tea in a saucepan with 2 cups of sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil for one minute, then remove from the heat and drop in the mint leaves. Leave to cool and infuse.
When the sugar syrup is cool, strain out the mint leaves and pour into the measuring jug or bowl with the remaining 1 cup brewed tea. Stir in the lemon juice.
Pour the tea mix into the bowl of an ice cream maker. Freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This will likely take 30 – 40 minutes, until the sorbet is light brown and grainy. Scoop the sorbet into a flat freezer container and freeze overnight, or at least 8 hours.
To keep the sorbet cold, try serving this in bowls or glasses that have been chilled.