in a large heatproof pitcher, combine tea bags, boiling water, and the 1/2 cup mint leaves. let steep for 5 minutes. remove and discard tea bags and mint. cover tea, let stand for 1 hour. stir in apricot nectar and vanilla, cover and chill for 4 to 48 hours.
to serve, fill tall glasses with ice cubes. fill with tea mixture. if desired, garnish with apricot wedges and mint strips.