Thursday, December 31, 2009

Herbal Beverage Recipes

Nothing is more refreshing than a cold beverage when temperatures rise. If you’re bored with the same old iced tea, make your own herbal drinks to help you stay cool this summer. Get creative with garnishes — instead of the usual lemon slices or peppermint sprigs, try skewered fruits or vegetables. Any edible herb or flower looks beautiful adorning a glass.

Before you get started, here are a few tips:

Serving Summer Beverages

• When serving drinks in a serving pitcher, be sure to chill the empty pitcher beforehand. Do not add ice to the pitcher or it will dilute the drinks. Instead, add the ice to each serving glass. Sliced lemons, limes and oranges are best when added to the pitcher or glass just before serving.

• Make your own decorative ice cubes by filling ice cube trays with a single berry, herb leaf, citrus peel or edible flower. Fill each tray half full with water or apple juice and freeze. Fill the ice cubes trays to the top and freeze again until firm. This method ensures that the item you’re freezing doesn’t float to the top of the ice cube.

• To keep your frozen drinks from becoming too diluted on a hot summer day, make some ice cubes out of the same beverage you’ll be drinking. If you want perfectly crystal clear ice cubes, use bottled water instead of tap water.

• To make sugared rims, put some superfine sugar on a small plate. Rub a lemon or lime on the rim of the glass and dip it in the sugar.

Mango Iced Tea
Serves 6

Fresh mango (or thawed frozen) purees easily in a food processor. To save time, you can use mango nectar instead of the pureed mango called for in this recipe.

4 cups water
4 teaspoons black tea leaves
1 1/2 cups pureed mango
1/4 cup sugar, or to taste
2 tablespoons fresh peppermint leaves
Crushed ice
Thinly sliced mango, to garnish

Bring water to a boil. Remove from heat and add black tea. Cover and steep for 5 minutes. Strain and add mango and sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Pour into a serving pitcher with peppermint leaves. Chill. Pour into glasses filled with crushed ice. Garnish each glass with a thin slice of mango.

Chamomile Apple Cooler
Serves 4

Chamomile and apple juice combine to create a relaxing and tasty beverage. You can substitute two chamomile tea bags for the dried chamomile flowers. Try serving this tea at your next children’s party or with dessert.

2 tablespoons dried chamomile flowers
2 cups boiling water
3 cups apple juice
Lemon slices, for garnish

Credit & Read more:

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