The last of this trio of garden drinks is non-alcoholic.
Before your eyes glaze over, I must tell you that it is divine. The cooler is made with just three ingredients: green tea—such as Green Dragon Oolong– for backbone, a handful of peppermint leaves for refreshing flavor, and pure pomegranate juice for lusciousness. Oh, and water, so that makes four. Five, if you choose to garnish it with an aromatic sprig from the garden— lemon verbena, purple basil or pineapple sage.
With all the anti-oxidants, flavenoids, polyphenols and catchecins in green tea, you know you’re doing wonderful things for your body. Especially if you’ve been sampling the mojitos or martinis I told you about earlier. And pomegranate juice has been used as a restorative since it was quaffed in ancient Babylon. It too is high in antioxidants that help protect the heart. Come to think of it, in the ancient world it was a symbol of resurrection.
Don’t waste this beautiful elixir by guzzling it while juggling two phones at once, haranguing your accountant or fending off kamikaze drivers on the interstate. No, wait until the late afternoon, when the sun is low and you can lie on the chaise under the Balinese parasol, watching hummingbirds sip the nectar from an Angel’s Trumpet and feeling the breeze from a far off tropical storm stir the air around you.
It’s that kind of drink.
Pomegranate Green Tea Cooler with Mint
(adapted from the West End Cooler at Three Cups)
30 ounces fresh spring water
1-1/2 tablespoons green tea, such as Green Dragon Oolong
Large handful of fresh mint leaves and stems
Pure pomegranate juice to taste
Sprig of purple basil, pineapple mint or lemon verbena for garnish
1. Place the green tea and mint in a teapot. Heat the water in a kettle just until wisps of steam curl out of the spout. Pour the water into the teapot, cover and let steep for 20 to 30 minutes. Strain the tea into a glass container and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until cold.
2. To make a cooler, pour four to six ounces of tea over ice in a tall glass. Add pure pomegranate juice to taste. Stir.
3. Garnish with a sprig of purple basil or other herb, if desired. Serve at once.