For the Tea:
- 2 large pieces orange peel, plus orange slices for garnish (optional)
- 1 cinnamon stick, plus more for garnish (optional)
- 8 black tea bags
For the Syrup:
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 quarter-size coins peeled ginger, chopped
- 6 sprigs fresh mint
Make the tea: Combine 8 cups water, the orange peel and cinnamon stick in a saucepan over low heat and bring to a boil. Add the tea bags and turn off the heat. Let the tea steep for about 5 minutes (no more or else it will be bitter), then remove the tea bags and chill the tea; don't remove the cinnamon stick or the orange peel yet.
Meanwhile, make the syrup: Combine 1 cup water, the sugar and ginger in a small saucepan over low heat and bring to a boil without stirring. Once boiling, turn off the heat. Rip the mint leaves and stalks into pieces and drop into the syrup. Let cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Strain the syrup, discarding the mint and ginger.
Strain the tea into a pitcher. Add the mint syrup according to your taste buds and stir. Serve in tall glasses over ice and garnish with orange slices and cinnamon sticks, if you like. Sip languorously.
Photograph by Lisa Shin