About the SFMGA

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fun Refreshing Drink Recipes to Try

By Joy Mandelbaum, Master Gardener

Rosemary Lemonade
  • Handful of fresh cut rosemary
  • 1 can of frozen lemonade, any size
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, optional
Steep rosemary in sufficient water to reconstitute lemonade, per directions on label for 10 minutes; drain, preserving water. Prepare lemonade, using rosemary water. Add a little crushed red pepper to fire it up!
Ginger Tea
  • 4 tbsp dried lemongrass
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 1 piece fresh ginger, about 2" long, peeled and sliced
  • 6-8 sprigs fresh mint
  • 1 long, thin, red chile pepper, halved and seeded (optional)
Add lemongrass and sugar to the hot, no longer boiling water; steep 10 minutes, covered. Add ginger, mint, and chile and steep, covred for another 5 minutes. Strain into a pitcher. Serve hot or chill for 1 hour or more. Makes 4 cups.
Chamomile Lavender Mint Iced Tea
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves, loosely packed
  • 2 tbsp dried culinary lavender
  • 1 ½ tbsp dried chamomile (or 4 chamomile tea bags)
Crush mint leaves and put in a 1 gallon glass jar with lid. Add lavender and chamomile. Fill jar with water to within 2" of rim. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hrs. Pour through a cheesecloth-lined colander into pitcher for serving. Makes 1 gallon.
Sweet Iced Tea
  • 16 cups (1 gallon) water
  • 1 ¼-1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp (packed) whole fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 1 tsp dried lavender
  • 3 tbsp (packed) whole lemon verbena or lemon balm leaves, roughly torn or snipped with scissors
  • 9 black tea bags
Place water, sugar, rosemary, lavender, and lemon verbena or lemon balm leaves in a large pot. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. As soon as the water boils, remove from heat. Tie the tea bag strings together into a knot, then drape them over the side of the pot of boiling water, making sure the bags are submerged. Cover and steep for 9 minutes. Remove tea bags, pressing gently to extract their flavor. Pour tea through a strainer into a pitcher and chill. Makes 1 gallon.