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 Cool Down with Iced Drinks--The herb companion

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PostSubject: Pink Herbal Lemonade   Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:34 pm

The lavender and hibiscus flowers turn this refreshing lemonade a gorgeous hot-pink color. You’ll get the most juice from lemons that are at room temperature. If you can’t find hibiscus flowers, substitute four large strawberries, thinly sliced. SERVES 4

4 cups water
• 1 cup sugar
• 2 tablespoons dried lavender flowers
• 4 whole dried hibiscus flowers
• 1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4 large lemons)
• Lemon slices and whole lavender sprigs, for garnish

1. Bring water to a boil. Remove from heat and add sugar; stir to dissolve.

2. Add lavender and hibiscus flowers and steep, covered, for 5 minutes.

3. Strain and add lemon juice. Chill for several hours before serving.

4. Garnish with lemon slices and lavender sprigs.

Nanette Blanchard is a freelance food writer who tries to keep cool in Albuquerque, New Mexico.



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PostSubject: Icy Tomato-Herb Tonic   Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:32 pm

This hearty drink tastes a lot like a Bloody Mary without the vodka. If you can’t find fresh lovage, substitute minced celery leaves. SERVES 4

4 cups tomato juice
• 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
• 1/4 cup minced fresh lovage
• Freshly ground black pepper to taste
• 1 tablespoon soy sauce, or to taste
• Celery sticks, for garnish
• Whole parsley and lovage sprigs, for garnish

1. Mix tomato juice with minced herbs, black pepper and soy sauce in a large pitcher.

2. Chill for several hours.

3. Garnish each serving with a celery stick and more fresh herbs.

Nanette Blanchard is a freelance food writer who tries to keep cool in Albuquerque, New Mexico.



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PostSubject: Fresh Ginger and Lemon Soda   Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:31 pm

Agave nectar is a terrific choice for sweetening iced drinks because it dissolves instantly and has a mild flavor. The strained ginger puree used in this recipe also is a great addition to regular iced tea. SERVES 4

• 1/4 cup sliced fresh gingerroot (about 2 ounces)
• 2 cups water
• 3 tablespoons agave nectar
• 1 lemon, sliced
• 2 cups sparkling water, club soda or seltzer
• Lemon quarters, for garnish

1. In a food processor, puree the sliced gingerroot and 1 cup water.

2. Pour into a pitcher with the second cup of water and stir in the agave nectar. Cover and chill for 24 hours.

3. Strain and add sliced lemons. For each serving, pour equal parts ginger puree and sparkling water into a glass.

4. Garnish each glass a with lemon quarter.

Nanette Blanchard is a freelance food writer who tries to keep cool in Albuquerque, New Mexico.



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PostSubject: Peppermint Slush   Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:30 pm

This refreshing concoction is made just like you’d make a granita. The icy texture and the coolness of the mint are very welcome on a hot day. You can substitute other types of mint, such as spearmint or chocolate mint, and vary the amount of sweetener. SERVES 4

4 cups boiling water
• 1/4 cup loose dried peppermint
• 1/4 cup sugar or to taste
• Fresh peppermint, for garnish

1.Pour boiling water over peppermint and cover. Let steep for 5 minutes. Strain and add sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Pour mixture into a shallow baking pan.

2.Freeze mixture for 30 minutes and then break up partially frozen mixture with a fork. Return to freezer for another 30 minutes then break up mixture again. Repeat this process twice more.

3.To serve, scrape pieces with a fork into four wide glasses. Top each serving with some fresh peppermint.

Nanette Blanchard is a freelance food writer who tries to keep cool in Albuquerque, New Mexico.



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PostSubject: Iced Green Tea Chai   Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:29 pm

Look for whole green cardamom pods at your health-food store or at an Indian market. This energizing drink is a great alternative to coffee. Try making it to help you get started in the morning. Green Tea Chai is also great as a hot drink. SERVES 4

4 cups water
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 1 tablespoon green cardamom pods
• 1 teaspoon whole cloves
• 2 tablespoons sliced fresh gingerroot
• 4 teaspoons green tea leaves
• Milk or non-dairy milk, to taste
• Sweetener to taste

1. Bring water to a boil. Add cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and gingerroot. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add green tea.

2. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. Strain and chill tea mixture.

3. Serve in chilled glasses with cold milk and sweetener to taste.

Nanette Blanchard is a freelance food writer who tries to keep cool in Albuquerque, New Mexico.



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PostSubject: Hibiscus-Lime Sun Tea   Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:27 pm

Dried hibiscus flowers, high in vitamin C, sometimes are sold in Hispanic markets under the name jamaica (pronounced ha-MI-ca). They also can be found at health-food stores. Hibiscus flowers are what make some commercial herbal tea blends that brilliant shade of red. serves 4

• 1/4 cup dried hibiscus flowers
• 4 cups water
• 3 tablespoons mild honey or agave nectar, or to taste
• 2 limes, sliced
• Crushed ice

1. In a large glass pitcher, mix hibiscus and water.

2. Cover and let sit outside or in a sunny spot for 6 hours or until bright red.

3. Strain and stir in honey until dissolved. Add sliced limes to pitcher.

4. Serve tea over crushed ice.

Nanette Blanchard is a freelance food writer who tries to keep cool in Albuquerque, New Mexico.



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PostSubject: Chamomile Apple Cooler   Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:26 pm

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. SERVES 4

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

1. Add chamomile to boiling water. Cover and steep for 10 minutes.

2. Strain, add apple juice and chill in refrigerator.

3. Serve with lemon slices in sugar-rimmed glasses, if desired.

Nanette Blanchard is a freelance food writer who tries to keep cool in Albuquerque, New Mexico.



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PostSubject: Mango Iced Tea   Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:24 pm

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. SERVES 6


• 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

1. Bring water to a boil. Remove from heat and add black tea.

2. Cover and steep for 5 minutes.

3. Strain and add mango and sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved.

4. Pour into a serving pitcher with peppermint leaves. Chill.

5. Pour into glasses filled with crushed ice.

6. Garnish each glass with a thin slice of mango.



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PostSubject: Cool Down with Iced Drinks--The herb companion   Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:23 pm

By Nanette Blanchard
July/August 2006

Herbal Iced Drinks: 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.

• Mango Iced Tea
• Chamomile Apple Cooler
• Hibiscus-Lime Sun Tea
• Iced Green Tea Chai
• Peppermint Slush
• Fresh Ginger and Lemon Soda
• Icy Tomato-Herb Tonic
• Pink Herbal Lemonade

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.



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