Friday, July 13, 2012

Herbal Iced Teas

From: Frontier Herbs
For nourishing refreshment, nothing quenches better—or is easier to prepare—than herbal iced tea. Use your favorite herbs alone or in combination. Drink them plain or sweetened, or mixed with juices, sparkling waters, or natural sodas. Serve them to guests, but make them part of everyday family fare, too.

To make herbal sun tea, all you need is a large glass jar or pitcher, fresh water, and herbs. Try about two heaping tablespoons of herb per quart of water. Place the herbs in the container and fill with cold water. You can tie the herbs in cheesecloth or place them in a muslin bag or tea infuser first for easy removal, if you like. Cover the container.

Set your container in a sunny place and let nature do the brewing. No need to set a timer—just leave the tea until it's as strong as you prefer it. When the tea looks and tastes ready, bring it in and take out the herbs. (Squeeze them before discarding to release all of the flavor into the tea.) Store the container in the refrigerator and serve your tea over ice.

Note: There's some concern that brewing tea in the sun can harbor bacteria, and this is a possibility. That's because the water will get warm enough to provide a friendly environment for the bacteria but not hot enough to kill it. To minimize the risk, use a perfectly clean container (scrub it in soap and hot water and rinse well), and don't leave the tea to steep for more than a few hours. Make just enough tea for the day, and keep it refrigerated. If the tea becomes thick or syrupy, discard it. (By the way, teas that contain caffeine are less prone to bacterial contamination.)

Classic Mint Iced Tea
Due to its menthol content, peppermint is a naturally refreshing herb. Not only will it chill you out and calm you down on a hot summer evening, but it’s also helpful for indigestion, nausea, and any other tummy upset.

Serves four
4 cups water
4 tablespoons dried peppermint
1 tablespoon honey
2 lemon slices, halved
4 sprigs fresh mint

Bring water to a boil in large, non-aluminum pot. Turn off heat. Stir in peppermint, cover, and let steep for 5 minutes. Strain, pressing on herbs with spoon to extract liquid, and discard herbs (if strainer holes are too large, line strainer with cheesecloth). Stir in honey until dissolved and let cool. Serve over ice. Garnish with a piece of lemon and sprig of mint.

Citrus Hibiscus

This colorful beverage brings a vacation on the beach to mind.
1 teaspoon peppermint
1 teaspoon rosehips
1 teaspoon orange peel
2 teaspoons hibiscus
2 teaspoons lemongrass
2 cups  water
1 cup  orange juice
2 cups  cold sparkling water
2 tablespoons  honey (or to taste)
Steep peppermint, rosehips, orange peel, hibiscus, and lemongrass in the two cups of water (either in the sun, or make a tea by boiling the water and pouring over the herbs). Strain. Add orange juice and refrigerate. When ready to serve, pour over ice cubes and add a splash of sparkling water to each glass. Sweeten if desired.

Lemon Balm Punch

Here's an easy and economical party beverage.
2 tablespoons lemongrass
2 tablespoons lemon balm leaf
2 cups  water
1 tablespoon  honey
2 cups  natural ginger ale
lemon slices (optional)
1 tablespoon  crystallized ginger, sliced (optional)

Make sun tea with lemongrass, lemon balm leaf, and water. Strain and add honey and ginger ale. Add floating slices of fresh lemon to your punch bowl, and/or include a slice or two of crystallized ginger in each glass.

Please Note:  Grandma Farmer has lovely Lemon Balm available in fresh leaf, dried leaves and in September, just in time for fall plantings, potted Lemon Balm to add to your edible landscapes.

Peach Pick-Me-Up
By Dawna Edwards
Make the most of summer’s most heavenly flavors with this sprightly tea. Fresh, fully ripe peaches are best, of course, but you can substitute canned or frozen peaches in juice (not syrup) when fresh peaches are not available. You can prepare the mint tea ahead of time, but always mix in the peaches just before serving. Makes about six 8-ounce servings.
• 1 tablespoon dried mint leaves
• 4 cups water
• 2 cups pureed peaches, chilled
• Fresh mint leaves for garnish
1. Steep mint leaves in hot (80- to 90-degree) water for 3 minutes.
2. Pour peaches into a sieve to remove chunks.
3. After the mint tea has cooled completely, mix it with the strained peach puree. Serve cold, garnished with fresh mint leaves.

Hip Apple Rose Tea
By Dawna Edwards
Packed with flavor and color, this tart tea is a delight to serve. Makes about four 8-ounce servings.
• 2 cups hot water
• 2 teaspoons dried and seeded rose hips
• 10 to 12 dried hibiscus flowers
• 1 tablespoon fresh pineapple sage or apple mint leaves
• 4 teaspoons fresh raspberry leaves OR 2 teaspoons dried leaves
• 2 cups cold water and ice
• Apple juice for sweetening, optional
• Apple slices, cut horizontally for garnish
1. Steep hips, flowers and leaves in hot water (80 to 90 degrees) for about 3 minutes.
2. Allow to cool slightly, strain and add cold water and ice.
3. Pour tea over additional ice. Float apple slices in each glass as garnish.

Lavender Lemon Quencher
By Dawna Edwards
Fresh and thirst-quenching, this cool summer tisane is perfect for a garden party or simply to calm nerves and aid digestion. Makes about four 8-ounce servings.
• 1/4 cup fresh lemon balm leaves, chopped OR 1 tablespoon dried leaves
• 1 tablespoon fresh lavender buds OR 2 teaspoons dried buds
• 2 cups hot water
• 2 cups cold water and ice
• Fresh lemon for garnish
1. Steep lemon balm and lavender in hot (80- to 90-degree) water about 3 minutes.
2. Add cold water and ice.
3. Serve over additional ice with lemon wedges.

Ruby Tea

Makes one gallon

1 cup lemon balm
2 tablespoons dried hibiscus flowers
½ cup spearmint leaves
Juice from one fresh lemon
One dollop organic maple syrup, or to taste (optional)
Lemon slices, for garnish

Place the herbs, lemon juice, maple syrup and herbs into a gallon jar. Fill with boiling water and let steep 10 minutes. Strain and discard herbs. Serve hot or over ice garnished with lemon slices.

Tonic Iced Teas

Finally I found this site with a great tonic teas:

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