Maybe it’s because I live in the city that never sleeps (where the night owls feel an exceptional need to shout at each other from under my window), but I’m becoming a big fan of dreamless sleep. My favorite, in lieu of a nightcap of Tylenol PM, is a soothing cup of Celestial Seasonings Sleepy Time Tea. I usually don’t touch CS tea – it’s like the Dinty Moore Beef Stew of the tea aisle. Sleepy Time, though, is a whole ‘nother story. Enriched with chamomile and valerian extract, it manages to tuck me in at night and mute the sounds of the city outside. It’s rather glorious – especially coming from a girl of the suburbs who remembers fireflies and crickets as harbingers of night, not sirens and car alarms.
This is my summertime ode to the dreamless sleep – a deliciously crisp and cool cocktail that blends fresh lemonade and iced Sleepy Time. A glass or two, and you’ll feel like you’re swinging away in a hammock without a care in the world. And yes, it works, so please drink this after the chores are done. Like most of my drinks, this one is sweetened with a simple syrup – it makes the drink blend together so perfectly, it’s really worth the extra effort. This particular syrup gets its glory from a mint infusion – yet another layer of flavor before naptime.
Sleepy Arnold Palmers (Lemonade and Valerian Iced Tea)
1 c. of mint simple syrup (recipe below)
4 bags of Celestial Seasoning Sleepytime Tea
2 c. of water
Heat the two cups of water to a boil and then pour into a pitcher. Add the tea bags, cover, and let steep for a half an hour. Remove bags and let tea sit until at room temperature. Squeeze in the juice of six lemons and add water to make 2 quarts. Sweeten with a cup of simple syrup (adding more or less to taste). Stir well and chill. Serve with lemon wheels and enjoy the restful time that ensues.
Mint Simple Syrup
1 c. of water
1 c. of sugar
1 bunch of mint
Bring all ingredients to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off and strain into a tupperware. Pop in the fridge to chill before using.
Steep Me in Majesty
I first had a taste of Rosemary Hibiscus Tea at the Fairmont Princess in Acapulco – I had a regrettable manicure at the spa, and an unforgettable cup of their “secret brew” before leaving the space. A combo of rosemary leaves and hibiscus petals, this sweet red treat was tart and garnet-colored like cranberry juice, only a little milder and much more floral. You can learn all about the flowers and their medicinal properties on Wikipedia.
Apparently, in Jamaica (where the flowers are called sorrel, and oddly, are called “Jamaica” in Latin America) the drink is spiked with a bit of rum as well. This recipe is the non-party version, but impress your bourgeois crew and serve this cooled beverage in a martini glass with a shot of Bacardi and a splash of Grand Marnier. It’ll make you spit your cosmo out the window and drink these from now on instead. Continue reading Rosemary Hibiscus Iced Tea