I haven’t had a very good week. Some people get back-to-school style blues once the summer is over but I’m getting them right as it’s beginning. I have always had a fickle relationship with this season. As a kid, I counted down the days until I’d be free from school and then about a week later I’d start counting days till I could go back. I think I find the idea of long, slow days a little bit sad for some reason.
So this week, my seasonal woes combined with general life anxiety really just got the better of me. I was planning on putting up an old family recipe for pineapple upside down cake this week but I just couldn’t get it right and the photos were lackluster so I decided against it. I very nearly conceded to not putting anything up at all but decided that I really couldn’t handle anymore failure packed into this awful week so I decided to go with something really simple but delicious. A drink with lots of gin on doctor’s orders.
Chamomile is supposed to be really good for anxiety so I started there. The description on the tea box says it will “melt your worries away” so I did a big arm sweep on the shelf and let all the boxes fall into my basket. Hibiscus has all kinds of reported health benefits ranging from promoting healthy blood pressure to having anti-depressant properties so I threw in a handful of dried flowers*. I used fresh mint leaves in the simple syrup for it’s calming and soothing effects and then I topped it off with a splash of gin for good measure.
The end result is an easy-drinking, relaxing tea that can easily be made into a cocktail. I used only about a half of a shot of gin per drink which made it more of a lower-alcohol sipping tea rather than a full on cocktail which I find a little too full-on for a weekday. Add as little or as much gin as you like, or none at all.
*I’m not a doctor. If you don’t feel good, call yours and have a cup of tea while you wait for the appointment.
Gin & Tea
Gin & Tea
- 5 cups water
- 5 Chamomile Tea Bags
- 1/4 cup dried hibiscus flowers
- 1/4-1/2 cup mint simple syrup (recipe below)
- Gin, amount as desired
Bring water to a boil in large pot on stove. Turn heat off and add tea bags and hibiscus flowers. After 5 minutes, remove tea bags but leave flowers in until tea has cooled completely. Strain flowers out, pour into pitcher, and refrigerate until cold. If making the cocktail, pour 1 shot of gin (or as much or as little as desired) over ice, and finish filling the glass with the tea. Garnish with fresh chamomile flowers, if desired.
Mint Simple Syrup
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 bunch mint leaves
Combine water and sugar and leaves in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat on stove. When sugar is completely dissolved into water and has taken on a greenish color, strain leaves from syrup and let cool.
The amount of simple syrup you will add depends upon individual taste and whether or not you are turning this into a cocktail. I found between 1/4 and 1/2 cup of simple syrup for the pitcher to be a good ballpark.