Sunday, May 8, 2016

Peach and Mint Iced Tea

When you live in Kentucky, the weeks leading up to the Kentucky Derby are very special. Everything is lush and green, and one glance at the horse fields helps you understand why they call it the Bluegrass State; people are coming to visit from all over the world; horses are everywhere; ladies are hat shopping; bets are being placed; mint and bourbon are being purchased with abandon; and Derby parties are a sure bet.

At a Derby party you are sure to drink a Mint Julep, a classic Derby drink made from Kentucky Bourbon, mint syrup, and a mint garnish served in pretty Mint Julep cup. There will likely be ham biscuits, Kentucky Burgoo (a spicy stew served with cornbread), Kentucky Hot Browns (turkey, bacon and tomato sandwiches smothered with cheese sauce), and Benedictine (a creamy cucumber and cream cheese spread) that is spread onto bread or crackers. For dessert there will either be Derby pie and/or Derby bars (a lovely chocolate and walnut pie that reminds me of chocolate chip pie). You will not walk away thirsty or hungry.

In the days leading up to Derby, fresh mint is in very high demand.  In order to supply the masses with mint, the grocery stores push big carts full of mint into the produce section, making the air fragrant. The fresh mint wafting through the market is the hallmark of Derby season and the culmination of what's to come. A celebration of old-fashioned Southern living that is, for the most part, untouched by modern times. A magical sort of time in Kentucky.

No matter how many mint garnishes you created, or Mint Juleps you've made, you are certain to have leftover mint.  This Peach and Mint Iced Tea is the perfect way to use it up! A subtle and refreshing blend to help soothe you after a day spent in the sun, eating and drinking to your heart's content.

Peach and Mint Iced Tea
Adapted from Relaxed Cooking with
Curtis Stone
Serves 4-6

1-1/4 cups (lightly packed) cups fresh mint leaves
3 ripe peaches, pitted
4 cups ice cubes, crushed

Pour 6 cups water into a medium sized saucepan.  Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and add 1 cup of the mint leaves. Cover and steep for 30 minutes to allow the mint to infuse the water. Then strain the mint tea into a pitcher, discarding the leaves, and refrigerate until cold.

Meanwhile, chop 2 of the peaches coarsely and place them in a blender. Puree until smooth, adding a couple tablespoons of the mint tea if necessary to hep create the puree. Strain the peach puree through a fine-mesh sieve and chill the puree. 

Thinly slice the remaining peach. In 4 tall glasses, layer the crushed ice, thin slices of peach, and the remaining 1/4 cup mint leaves, filling the glasses about halfway. Divide the peach puree among the 4 glasses. Then stir in the chilled mint tea and serve immediately.


  1. So pretty! I adore the smell of mint so I would happily roam the grocery stores aisles during Derby season there sniffing away... ;-) Love tisanes like this one and the peach and mint combination is especially delectable.

  2. I have only the mint, there is no season for flavorful peaches here. This is the perfect summer drink

  3. And here I only think about mojito drinks when I think of mint. Looks very refreshing and the u certainly captured some good shots there. Magazine photo worthy!
    Our neighbors down the road have horses and they always have a Derby Day, lots of people partying down there. They have to have the local police set up to be sure traffic slows down by their place.

  4. Hi Kim,
    I saw this recipe from the book, and wishing that we have fresh peaches over here! I would love to try this with our tropical fruits one of these days! Looks slurpingly good!

  5. Oh boy, would I ever like to be in Kentucky for the Derby. Maybe one day; but in the meantime I can have this iced tea or a mint julep and watch the races on TV.

  6. I enjoyed my little lesson on the Kentucky Derby. I now want a mint julep and some of that peach and mint ice tea.

  7. I love the idea of tea made with fresh mint and the peaches would make it that much more delicious. You're so lucky to have local peaches available now - I'll have to wait until August to try this!

  8. I always look forward to the Kentucky Derby. Did not know much about the other Kentucky traditional fare other than the mint julep. Thanks for the great write-up and the very cool mint tea.


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