This week is a particularly busy one. Mostly because I am doing some serious recipe testing in order to prepare an upcoming lunch on Saturday for four friends and for a feature in Cyprus “Taste” Magazine. (yay!) I can’t wait to share with you the recipes and the feature. I am mixing and matching a bit, but I decided to go with a local and modern theme. The first thing I tried is this lemon verbena iced tea. Usually lemon verbena is used to make hot tea, which is good for sore throats in Cyprus. It’s always in the cupboard. But it has such a distinctive fresh and lemon-like taste (with a little lemon-grass kick) that I decided to see if it would make for a good iced tea. And it does! It tastes like a cross between traditional Cypriot lemonatha, and iced tea. So it’s very good if you don’t know which you would prefer to make. (Not that I speak from experience ;p).
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
6 cups of lemon verbena tea made with 1 cup fresh verbena leaves (1/2 to 3/4 cup dried lemon verbena leaves)
English Breakfast Tea Bag (optional, you can add this to the brew for 10 seconds to give it a black “tea” flavour)
4 small sticks of lemongrass (crush the ends to release the flavour)
1/2 cup chopped ginger
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
1. In a small saucepan on the stove heat the water and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Remove and let cool. Once cool add the juice of 1 lemon to the mixture.
2. Add the lemon verbana to 6 cups of boiled water and let brew for about 20 minutes. (Optional: after it has cooled slightly, add the English Breakfast Tea Bag towards the end for 10 seconds for a hint of black tea flavour.)
3. In a large bowl or jug add the lemongrass sticks, chopped ginger, fresh mint leaves. Slice the remaining lemon and add it to the jug as well. Then add the cooled sugar-lemon-water mixture. Then add the tea mixture, straining out the lemon verbena leaves.
4. Leave in the fridge until cool. Serve with ice. Preferably on a summer patio! Enjoy! xx
FOR MORE RECIPES VISIT www.afroditeskitchen.com.