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Iced Teas: Hibiscus Mint and Citrus Arnold Palmer

It's too hot to bake. No one wants to turn on the oven in this heat. Plus, we feel more thirsty than hungry. What we really want is to feel refreshed. Which is why we sprang into action when we saw a selection of ice tea recipes this week on www.marthastewart.com. We quickly decided to try two of them: Hibiscus Mint Iced Tea and Citrus Arnold Palmer. 

For the Hibiscus Mint Iced Tea you take 4 hibiscus tea bags and ½ cup of fresh mint leaves and add them to 4 cups of boiling water. The water will instantly start to turn a deep berry red color. Let steep for 10 minutes, then remove tea bags and mint leaves. Add 2 cups apple juice and 2 cups cold water. Refrigerate and serve over ice. 

The hibiscus tea, also known as flor de Jamaica in Mexico, has a slightly tart flavor, which is why the apple juice is used to sweeten the taste. With the added hint of mint this tea definitely left us feeling revived. We could sip on this all day. 

The second iced tea recipe, Citrus Arnold Palmer, fills a slightly different need to help us cope with the summertime heat as this recipe calls for a ½ cup of bourbon. We need no further convincing. 

First we made simple syrup by mixing one-cup sugar with one cup water, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand until room temperature. The syrup will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to a month. 

To make the Citrus Arnold Palmer, boil 2 cups of water and add 4 bags of English Breakfast Tea. Let steep for 5 to 7 minutes. Remove bags and refrigerate. When cool stir in ½ cup bourbon, the juice of one orange and one lemon and 2 tablespoons simple syrup. Serve over ice. 

This drink works well as anwww.marthastewart.com alternative to the end of workday glass of wine. It would also be a good poolside drink option -- rejuvenating, and boozy. 

One thing about living in the desert -- In this heat you've got to stay hydrated.
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