Kristina

I’m Kristina - freelance graphic designer, backyard farmer, cookbook reader, project starter, and new mom to a gorgeous little boy.

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July 28, 2011

Lemon verbena iced tea

I have found my drink of summer, people. After 4 years of growing a wily bush of lemon verbena with the intention of at some point using it, I think I’m on the verge of becoming verbena-obsessed.

See I planted it 4 years ago because I read a recipe somewhere for white peaches in lemon verbena simple syrup (to pour over vanilla ice cream, of course). Funny how you remember such things. But have I made that recipe? No, of course not. In fact, the poor verbena has been largely neglected since planting. But it turns out to be practically a weed that comes back stronger every year, even when in winter it’s just a tiny woody stump.

Yesterday, at the suggestion of our nanny Gloria, I decided to hack off a few branches and pour boiling water over them to make tea. Is this a known thing? It seemed so obvious after the fact. In Mexico they apparently drink this iced tea when it’s really hot out and Gloria wanted to take some to the park for Dashiell. Um, hello hidden gem of Mexico!

You guys, it’s so delicious. It’s sort of gingery and ever so slightly sweet. Not really lemony at all. Just divine, poured over ice after steeping for a few hours.

I think you could mix in a teensy bit of honey when it’s hot too. Or even a few sprigs of mint. I tried it with a lemon wedge, but decided after the fact (and after taking photos) that I prefer it on it’s own.

And the best thing is that you can either grow it yourself with very minimal effort, or because it really must be a weed, buy huge bunches of it at the farmer’s market for only a few dollars. I’ve always seen those bunches and been like “what could one possibly do with so much verbena!”. Make delicious iced tea for the week, to start. I’m just about to go on a verbena binge, I can tell.

So I’ll report back with more ideas.

Starting with that original recipe for peaches in syrup, of course. Also thinking it would make a lovely addition to popsicles and cocktails. But do start with the tea. It’s so so good.

comments

  1. Christina said on July 28, 2011

    Sounds divine! Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. livi said on July 28, 2011

    lemon verbena ice cream is one of my top favorites

  3. Kristina said on July 28, 2011

    @livl – ooh. Definitely trying that. Or maybe lemon verbena cream pops!

  4. blake said on July 28, 2011

    cool! I have a rambling verbena that just won’t quit out back… this is so brilliantly simple! LV also dries really well, BTW. I hack it off all the time to dry.

  5. sara said on July 28, 2011

    omg yum.
    thanks for the inspiration…
    xx

  6. carolyn said on July 28, 2011

    i had a lemon verbena perfume once. they don’t make it anymore but i remain a sucker for anything with that scent. mm.

  7. Sara said on July 28, 2011

    I love the ice cream version but have never thought of drinking it before! Off to buy lemon verbena tomorrow.

  8. Ridgely's Radar said on July 29, 2011

    Looks delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Diana said on March 12, 2013

    I’m Greek-American currently living in Greece. I often heard people talking about “louiza” tea which I found out in English was “lemon verbena”. Instantly brought me back to Little House on the Prairie, Laura always spoke of her teacher’s lemon verbena perfume!

    What’s best is it is good for you, for digestion and calms nerves, but in Greece it’s often mentioned using to slim down. Nice plus! My dietician recommended it because I was having problem with bloating due to some meds & lemon verbena helped with that! I’m just not a hot tea drinker, so I also use it as iced tea. Now I’ll have to find somewhere to grow it-since we live in a condo-maybe balcony?

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