Make simple syrup by dissolving the sugar in the water in a saucepan over medium heat.
Turn the heat off and stir in the chopped mint leaves. Let sit for a couple of minutes. When the mixture is cool, strain the mint leaves out.
Add two to four tablespoons (to taste) of the mint syrup to a glass of sparkling water. Add a mint sprig as a garnish.
Mint is an all-time favorite for keeping cool in the summer, but chamomile, or lemon verbena, or any herb that strikes your fancy will also work in this recipe. Double it if you’re expecting a crowd.
Seasonal Cook’s Notes: What are you cooking up with local foods for the summer? Send us your photos and links to the recipes you used, and we’ll share them with our 2,000+ Facebook followers. If you’d like to include your name, location, and a caption for your photo, we’ll share that as well. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org.