As an introduction Tasha says "This is one of my specialties of which I am inordinately proud. You must start with real tea, made correctly - that is, with freshly boiled water steeped for no more than five minutes. Fresh spearmint is another must."
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
5 tablespoons either English or Irish Breakfast loose-leaf tea
1 quart fresh, cold water
6 fresh oranges
6 fresh lemons
6 fresh limes
1 quart ginger ale
fresh spearmint sprigs for garnish
To make the sugar syrup, place the sugar and 1/4 cup water in a saucepan. Bring just to a boil and simmer until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the flame and place the sugar syrup in a canning jar. Allow it to cool before placing a lid on it. Keep the syrup at room temperature, as it will congeal in the refrigerator.
Put the cold water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Place the tea leaves in a large pitcher and pour the boiling water over them. Steep for 5 minutes, stirring once. Pour off the tea through a strainer, into another pitcher. Allow it to cool but do not put in the refrigerator, as the cold will cloud the tea.
Allow the juice of half an orange, half a lemon, and half a lime per glass - squeezed, of course, and strained.
For each serving, put the fruit juice in a large glass, 10 ounces or so, pour in the tea to half-fill the glass, and then fill the remainder with ginger ale and 2 ice cubes. Add sugar syrup to taste. Place a sprig of fresh spearmint in each glass and serve.
Visit www.storybookwoods.typepad.com for more Tasha Tudor tributes.