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Blackberry ice tea

Blackberry ice tea

3 cups fresh or frozen blackberries, thawed

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

Pinch of baking soda

4 cups boiling water

2 family-size tea bags

2 1/2 cups cold water

Fresh blackberries and fresh mint sprigs, for garnish

Makes about 7 1/2 cups.

Combine blackberries and sugar in large container. Crush blackberries with wooden spoon. Add mint and baking soda. Set aside.

Pour 4 cups boiling water over tea bags; cover and let stand 3 minutes. Discard tea bags.

Pour tea over blackberry -mixture; let stand at room temperature 1 hour. Pour tea through a wire-mesh strainer into a large pitcher, discarding solids. Add 2-1/2 cups cold water, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

For the garnish, cut desired amount of wooden skewers into 5-inch lengths; then place fresh blackberries on skewers. Add a sprig of mint.