Strawberry Basil Iced Tea

In the battle to supply refreshing, thirst-quenching drinks to my boyfriend, and now roommate (!), who like some, rarely drinks a plain glass of water, I’ve begun making copious amounts of iced tea in attempt to beat the heat while dissuading his $20/week Gatorade habit.

So far, we’ve tried raspberry tea, honey green tea, Arnold Palmers, sweet tea, chai tea…you name it. All have been tasty, but none so unique as Martha Stewart’s Strawberry Basil Iced Tea, which we tried today.

This tea is infused with some of summer’s most poignant flavors, and would make the perfect picnic accompaniment… or Gatorade-replacer as the case may be.

* 8 black-tea bags
* 1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved (quartered if large)
* 1 cup water, plus more for steeping
* 3/4 cup sugar
* 1 cup fresh basil, plus more for serving
* Ice, for serving

1. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add tea bags, and let steep for 5 minutes.
2. Place strawberries in a bowl. Bring water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, add basil, and let steep for 10 minutes.

3. Strain over strawberries; discard basil. Toss to coat. Let stand until cool, about 25 minutes. Combine strawberries (with syrup) and tea in a pitcher. Refrigerate until chilled. Serve over ice, and garnish with basil.

* My only changes: adding sliced lemon to the simple syrup, and putting another round of fresh basil into the finished tea for stronger herbal notes. Crossword suggested but not required.