Iced Tea Recipes

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Lemon Balm Tea Recipe (Herbal Iced Tea) Recipe

Lemon balm is known by many names, such as balm mint, bee balm, blue balm, cure-all, garden balm, honey plant, melissa, sweet balm or even sweet Mary. These names describe the properties of the herb very well. Lemon balm was dedicated to the goddess Diana, and used medicinally by the Greeks. It is believed that lemon balm tea is a tension reliever and enhances relaxation, especially in expectant women.

My husband Lulu planted lemon balm in our garden a couple of years ago. Like mint, lemon balm grows easily and requires very little maintenance. The first crop of leaves was ready to be used this week, and we were all looking forward to a tall pitcher of lemon balm iced tea. For optimum fragrance, I waited for a sunny day to pick the leaves. First, I bruised the leaves and infused them in hot water. I added simple syrup and lemon juice to balance the flavor. I then added ice cubes to bring down the temperature of the tea. After a little time in the fridge, it was ready to serve.

The tea is incredibly soothing. When you swirl it, you can see the reflection of the essential oils from the lemon balm on the surface of the drink. It definitely sets the mood for a lazy summer day.

Lemon Balm Tea Recipe with Picture


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Ginger Lemongrass Drink Recipe

Ginger Lemongrass Drink

08.27.09 by Jackie

Xả gừng literally translates to lemongrass and ginger. I love lemongrass, and the flavor it imparts to the drink is very pleasant and refreshing on a hot day.

Lemongrass (xả) is very common in Vietnamese cuisine. It is considered a mild diuretic, tonic and stimulant. Lemongrass is typically sold in packs of 5 stalks, and can be quite expensive. Last year, I asked Lulu whether we could grow it at home, and in response he planted 4 "bushes".  They are doing quite well, and since it is a perennial, we keep getting fresh stalks. If you're planning on cooking a lot of Asian cuisine, consider investing in some lemongrass.


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Thai Iced Tea (Tra Thai in Vietnamese) Recipe

Thai iced tea (trà Thái in Vietnamese) is my favorite drink whenever I go to a phở house. I really like the contrast of flavors and temperatures between the hot broth and the cold tea.

The procedure for making trà Thái is similar to cà phê sữa đá (iced coffee). The tea is brewed for a long time to achieve a strong flavor, then sweetened with Asian rock sugar and condensed milk. It's served chilled with a lot of ice and a splash of evaporated milk.


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Mint and Cardamom Flavored Arnold Palmer (Lemonade with Iced Tea) Recipe

An Arnie Palmer is quite refreshing on those dog days of summer. The drink is named after the American professional golfer, Arnold Palmer. Legend has it that while golfing in his country club in Colorado, he requested that lemonade be added to his iced tea but the bartender initially refused.  After some cajoling, the bartender finally relented. And thus the Arnold Palmer was born.

I infused some fresh mint from the garden in the tea and some cardamom seeds in the lemonade. You can of course either just make a Morrocan tea or a cardamom lemonade but the combination of the two is simply divine.

This drink is dedicated to our friend Scott who is an avid golfer. Summer is on its way and I bet he's going to be back on the greens very soon. Scott: I promise that next time you stop by the house, I'll make an Arnold Palmer for you and Lulu.


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