At BBQ's many choose to have some white wine or beer chilling but sometimes what could be more refreshing than 'Iced Tea', and as Swedish chef Birgitta Höglund (pictured below) writes, " it is a very refreshing drink that goes well both when you’re waiting for the charcoals to get ready for the grill, and as an alcohol-free drink anytime.
But don’t drink the ready-made product sold in cans—it contains lots of added sugar.
My iced tea gets its fresh taste from lemon and peppermint leaves. I use Earl Grey tea, but feel free to choose your favorite blend. The tea bags should steep in cold water to prevent the tea from turning bitter."
Peppermint Tea and mints have been served as after dinner fare not only to freshen the breath, but to also aid in digestion. Peppermint has been found to smooth the long muscles surrounding the stomach and intestines, which is how it aids in digestion. It allows the stomach and intestines to do their job more effectively.
Peppermint is native to the Mediterranean and North Africa. In Ancient Egypt Peppermint was used to aid in the relief of stomach pains. During Biblical times it was used as a medium of monetary exchange and for payment of tithes.
In Greek mythology, the story of how Peppermint got its characteristics goes something like this:
Minthe was a river nymph in the Cocytus River (one of the five rivers of Hades). When Hades was driving his golden chariot, he came upon Minthe and was about to seduce her when his wife Persephone caught them. Persephone then turned Minthe into a lowly mint plant that people would walk upon. Mint supposedly got its pungent, sweet smell when Hades softened the spell so that when people walked upon his lover they would smell her sweetness...