Apple and Mint Punch – Sharon

3 cups water (divided)
4 green tea bags
1 1/2 cups 100 percent apple juice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup sparkling water
4 packets Stevia
1 packed cup fresh apple mint leaves

In a small pan bring the water just to a boil and remove from heat. Place the 4 tea bags in a pan, pour 2 cups boiling water over the tea bags and allow to steep for 1 hour. Place the mint leaves in another pan, pour 1/2 cup boiling water over the leaves. In a cup pour out the stevia packets, and cover with the last 1/2 cup boiling water. Stir the stevia and water until the stevia has dissolved. Pour the Stevia mixture over the mint leaves. Mull the mint leaves for about one minute to release the oils. Allow to steep until the tea bags are ready. Strain the tea and then the mint water into a large pitcher. Add the lemon juice and apple juice to the mint/tea mixture. Chill for at least 4 hours. Add the sparkling water and ice just before serving. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs, if desired.

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