I grew up in a small town in Central California that had very hot, relentless summers. Some years, there would be weeks of triple digit heat without any decrease in temperature and aside from staying indoors, your options for finding comfort were limited. One way that my mother welcomed summer and used the sun to her advantage was to make sun tea. Though we did not have many traditions in our family, sun tea was there to greet us every summer without fail.
Now a Los Angeles resident, I am utilizing the sunny weather and have adopted this summer staple as a tradition in our home. We have improved the tea a tad by creating our own tea blends instead of purchasing pre-made tea bags from the store. This is more cost effective and also is a great way to get additional health benefits from our tea. Win win!
Right now I am drinking a ton of nettles to help with lactation and I LOVE Red Roobios, which has anti-inflammatory and antiviral qualities! This week I also took a recommendation from my friend Lacy and thew in some red raspberry leaf which is mineral rich and great for postpartum. I recommend buying these herbs in bulk because you will save money in the long run and will always have them available.
To brew simply throw 3/4 loose tea per every 4 cups of spring water into a large container and leave in the sun for 4 hours. I always gravitate towards simple sun tea jars, similar to what I used as a kid. Use a mesh strainer to separate the leaves from the tea and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy over ice with people you love.