OK, I have been having way too much fun with ice cubes. Meanwhile I’ve been working on a more medical piece on passionflower, which I hope to post within the month. But for now, I leave you with this herbal ice tea recipe and my first presentation in a series of fancy-pants ice cubes. Hopefully this tasty herbal tea and key-lime ice cubes will whet your appetite, and help keep you cool this summer.
Hibiscus Mint Herbal Iced Tea
Makes one gallon. Bring two quarts of water to a boil and add:
- 1 Tablespoon of Hibiscus
- 1/2 Tablespoon of Lemon balm
- 1/2 Tablespoon Lemon Verbena
- 1 Tablespoons Peppermint
Cover and let steep for 20 minutes. Strain, and add ice to bring the volume up to one gallon. Serve in any fancy way you please – garnish of mint, ice cubes with frozen flowers. If you have any of these herbs fresh, use them in this recipe! Substitute one handful of the fresh herbs for one Tablespoon of the dried cut and sifted herb (bulk).
Hibiscus, also called roselle, is made from the calyces (sepals, part of the flower) of Hibiscus sabdariffa in the Mallow family (Malvaceae). Native to India and Malaysia, it has been widely adopted by tropical people around the globe as a refreshing medicinal tonic tea, and is made into jam. High in anti-oxidant bioflavanoids, Hibiscus has been the study of many recent studies for its anti-inflammatory, cardio-protective, neuroprotective, and hepatoprotective qualities. It is a good tonic tea for folks with heart disease or high cholesterol, and as a general preventative against free radical stress on the body. Take care with heartburn, as it can aggravate the condition with its sour flavor, and it may be too cooling for folks who run very cold.