Are we on to pumpkins already? It’s still soupy hot and we are a week back to school, but everywhere I turn I am seeing pumpkin flavoured ice cream, beer, coffee, bread… it begins.

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I love pumpkin with its rich and comforting allure and I love the autumn’s cooling temperatures, its smell of decomposing leaves. I’m just not ready to let go of all that great summer produce. Soon there will be some glorious root veg dishes, but for now I’m clinging to my peaches and watermelon and corn and plums and – well you get the picture.

A few weeks ago we hosted a fairly big family do in our quaint (read: little), place. As we are all getting older that means less drinkers in our clan than there used to be and the ones that still imbibe opt for wine and beer instead of the mixed cocktails of yore – getting old is boring. I wanted to offer up a drink that allowed the tea-totelers a little fun at the same time leaving room to spike it for a fancy treat.

Savour these waning days of colourful produce. There will be plenty of velvety celeriac soups and hug-me-on-the-inside-stews in our near future, for now sip on this little cocktail of sunshine-y happiness.

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SPARKLING PEACH & GINGER ICED TEA – VIRGIN OR SPIKED

makes about 4 servings

Anyone remember Snapple? Do they still make that? I used to adore their peach tea. Somehow they made beverages cool and on trend, others followed – like Fruitopia – but I will always have a special place for Snapple… and Frostees, of course.

I instantly thought of Snapple when I stumbled across an old recipe clipping from the LCBO catalogue (I swoon for their summer and holiday editions) for a Sparkling Peach Iced Tea with Prosecco. The original had a lovely peach purée and I’ve included it below as optional. It was truly tasty and worth including, but as the day went on and I threw back a few more than I intended I felt as though I was drinking a meal rather sipping a thirst quencher. Many drinks = bloaty belly.

I brew my tea extra strong so I can load it up with ice cubes and it doesn’t get too watered down. You can also substitute lime juice for the lemon. If you substitute soda or mineral water for wine I recommend adding a little more sweetener.

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40 oz/1 quart boiling water

3 -4 peach tea bags or loose tea equivalent

2 tbsp honey or agave (or more to taste)

a thumb sized piece of ginger, washed and sliced

juice of 1 lemon

lots of ice

mint sprigs to garnish

optional: Sparkling wine

optional: 1 peach, pit removed and puréed in a blender until smooth

 

Pour your boiled water over the tea bags, ginger and sweetener in a large mason jar or beverage container. Let it steep for 5 – 7 minutes. Remove the tea bags and ginger. Stir in the lemon juice. Refrigerate until chilled and ready to serve.

To serve:

Fill a glass with ice. Drop in your mint.

If using the peach purée add about 1/8 cup per glass before pouring over the tea, stirring well. If you want to spike it, use about a 1:3 ratio of wine and tea.

Enjoy on a patio or in a few months you can sip on this and transport yourself to a warmer time.

 

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