A few days ago I looked at my deck, shimmering in the relentless heat, and had a flash of inspiration: sun tea. I called my mom for the recipe, filled up my jars, and set them out to bask in the sun. By afternoon I was drinking ice-cold fruit tea and wondering how I could have forgotten about this. My new plan for the summer is to always have a pitcher-full on hand.

This is my favorite recipe for sun tea: it’s sweet, tangy, refreshing, and gloriously caffeine- and calorie-free:

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Sun Tea

In each half-gallon jar:

-1 bag mint tea

-2 bags licorice tea

-2 bags Tazo Passion Tea (you could probably substitute another flavorful fruit tea)

Pour water (I use distilled) over the tea bags to fill. (I also pull the paper tags off the tea bags but leave the strings). Cover and place in direct sunlight for two hours; then refrigerate until chilled. After a couple of hours in the fridge, I squeeze the tea bags out (I always like a nice strong tea), and remove them.

Serve cold.

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My husband loves this tea–but actually says it isn’t very sweet. However, he’s the man who can’t drink orange juice without going into paroxysms, so I don’t take his definition of “sweet” very seriously.  If you don’t like the flavor of licorice, you could leave it out but might then need to add another sweetener–although of course that would usually mean adding some calories.

*Update: My mom says people with high blood pressure should not consume licorice.

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