Black cherries and star anise add unique flavour to a classic iced tea.
2-1/2 quarts water
1 lb. fresh black cherries, pitted, or 2 10 oz. bags frozen pitted black cherries, thawed
1 cup sugar (or more to taste)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
2-3 whole star anise
15 green tea bags
Fresh mint sprigs
Step 1: Bring water to a boil in a large covered saucepan over medium-high heat. Add black cherries, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla bean and star anise. Simmer the mixture over low heat for 12-15 minutes, crushing cherries against the side of the pan with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour.
Step 2: Strain the cherry mixture through a sieve into a saucepan. Discard the solids. Bring the cherry juice to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat, add the tea bags and let steep for 4-5 minutes. Discard the tea bags and let cool. Once tea is at room temperature, transfer to a large pitcher and refrigerate 3 hours or until chilled. Serve over ice, garnished with fresh mint sprigs. Tea can be kept in refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Makes 2-1/2 quarts