Raising a Glass to Mama

Minty Bourbon Peach Sweet Tea with Blueberry Mint Syrup

I used to think I knew what it was to give all of myself. To dig deep and push harder, love more, be kinder, forgive more easily. And then I became a mother and realized that I had a lot more of myself tucked away, hiding in the shadows waiting to be summoned. Though I’m barely through my probation period as a mother, I can truthfully say I have given more of myself emotionally, physically and mentally in the last 10 months than I ever imagined I had to give. And I’d happily, gratefully give even more.

I always knew my Mom was special, with her kindness, specific brand of humor, ability to turn tears into grins, sadness into hope. But until I was a mother myself, I never knew how powerful that relationship was in my life. After I had Ruthie, she was all I wanted. As I struggled through PPD and questioned my abilities as a Mom, she was the shoulder I sobbed on and the confidence I lacked. She made me strong when I felt weak and defeated. She carried me through days when I thought I might not be able to make it out of bed and care for our daughter. She, after 30 years of motherhood, is still giving all of herself and then some to my sister and I. I’ve never been more grateful for her friendship, her love, and her guidance.

Minty Bourbon Peach Sweet Tea with Blueberry Mint Syrup

Whether it was your mother, your sister, your best friend or any other strong female figure in your life that helped shape you, don’t forget to raise your glass (of sweet tea!?) to her on Sunday. Because daaaaamn, she works hard. And if you’re lucky like I am, she always will.

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Minty Bourbon Peach Sweet Tea with Blueberry Mint Syrup
makes 6-8 servings

I used Peppermint Tea & Organic Peach Tea (with a black tea base) here. If you can’t find peach tea bags, you can puree some frozen peaches with a little water and strain the puree through a fine mesh sieve.

The iced tea here is just barely sweet so you can add the blueberry mint syrup to taste.

8 cups water
1/4 cup cane sugar
3 peach tea bags
3 peppermint tea bags
2 sprigs mint, leaves bruised to release the oils
juice from 1/2 lime
1 cup sparkling water
1/2 cup blueberry-mint syrup (recipe to follow)
lime and mint, to garnish, optional
Bourbon (I like Bulleit Bourbon), optional

Bring your 8 cups of water to a boil in the kettle or stovetop. Add the tea bags, sugar, mint and lime juice to the bottom of a carafe. Pour boiling water over the ingredients and let sit for at least 1 hour, up to overnight (in the fridge). Remove tea bags and cool.

Fill some tall glasses with crushed ice. Pour in 1oz bourbon into each glass. Top with iced tea, 1/4 cup sparkling water, and a drizzle of the syrup. Because the syrup is so sweet, add a little at a time to your liking. Stir and top with a round of lime and a few mint leaves.

Blueberry Mint Syrup
makes 1 1/2 cups

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
4 sprigs mint, leaves bruised to release oils
1 cup cane sugar

Bring everything to a boil over med-high heat in a sauce pan. Let simmer for 10 minutes and remove from heat. Strain syrup and toss solids into your sweet tea.