Yes, I can already hear you saying it out loud. But I beg your patience. Who doesn’t have a nuisance of mint growing somewhere? And what cools the heat of summer better than the combination of lemon, mint and ginger?
If you don’t make ice the old-fashioned way in trays, you’ll need to get a couple. They’re cheap.
Next, we’re going to run some hot tap water. Run it as hot as it will get. This is in lieu of heating in on the stove because, if you’re like me, it is the most rationed appliance in the house these days and nights. A quart will fill 2 trays nicely.
Now strip about a dozen stems of mint of their leaves. You should have about a half-cup, lightly packed. You’ve washed them, right? Wrap them in a paper towel and roll between your palms to bruise them well. Your hands will smell divine. Add the crushed leaves to the hot water.
Peel a 1″ knob of ginger, cut it into 1/4″ thick slices, then roughly chop them. Add them to the hot water. Cover the measuring cup with a plate to retain the heat. Let the mint leaves steep for about 20 minutes. Remove the plate and pour the water through a strainer into a mixing bowl. Discard the mint leaves and the ginger.
You can set the water in the refrigerator to cool, but a faster way to chill it is to fill a quart-size ziplock bag with ice cubes, zip it shut, and set it right in the water. Alternatively, if you keep bottles of frozen water for times like this, use one of those. When the water is cool, discard the ice cubes, rinse the bag, hang it over a bottle to dry, and eventually re-use it.
Set your strainer back over the bowl of cooled water. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon into it to retain the seeds. Stir to blend, then taste. Add more lemon if you wish. Pour the water back into your measuring cup, then pour into ice cube trays. Freeze. When frozen, pop out into a large ziplock bag. They should have a gentle, golden-greenish hue. And best of all, you’ll have lovely flavor without straining any vegetable matter through your teeth. Drop them into your water bottle, add them to iced tea, even lemonade will thank you.