Iced tea is a staple at my house from spring through early fall. It is thirst quenching and goes with everything from BBQ chicken to blackberry cobbler. I usually drink unsweetened tea with a sprig of mint, but this mint tea punch is delicious when the occasion calls for something special.
Raspberries aren’t particularly fond of the hot summers typical of Arkansas, but the two varieties – ‘Dorman Red’ and ‘Heritage’ – we planted at the Garden Home Retreat are heat tolerant so we get a pretty good crop. Both are everbearing, producing berries in June and then again in fall. The real problem is getting from the garden to the kitchen without eating them all!
Raspberries are a delicate fruit. They’ll only keep for about three days in the refrigerator. For the best results don’t wash them before storing and discard any damaged berries. If you place them in a single layer on a paper towel in an air-tight container they will hold up better than packed into a box.
You can freeze raspberries too. Gently wash, pat dry and sprinkle with lemon juice to retain the color. Place the prepared berries on a cookie sheet and freeze. Once frozen transfer them to an air-tight container and keep in the freezer. You can keep frozen raspberries for up to a year.
Celebrate berry season with this fizzy blend of fresh strawberries and raspberries.
Both mint and strawberries are ideal for containers. Mint especially since it can be such a rampant grower in the garden. Clustered containers of the two offer a lush display with the added benefit of edible leaves and berries that are delicious on their own and when paired in a recipe such as this mint strawberry smoothie.