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Fresh Mint and Lemon Verbena Tea – from a Nottinghamshire Garden

mint tea 1The heat, sun and rain has meant that my herbs this year are the most verdant and healthy I have seen for years. The pots are positively overflowing with greenery. What better use to put them to then, that a herb tea. I am not a fan of commercial fruity “infusions”, it’s got to be said, always prefer a good cup of “builder’s tea” to be honest, but on the hottest day of the year, this fresh and simple tea, hit the spot just right. And, what a pretty colour!

Lemon Verbena has the most amazing flavour of Lemon (I know,what a surprise eh?) but truly, it is an arrestingly strong scent that can flavour teas, recipes, ice-cream, sorbets, vodka (going ty try that) and even flower arrangements. Easy to grow in a pot (it doesn’t like the cold and damp though), it is a native of South America brought to Europe by Spanish explorers in the 17th Century. It was traditonally said to aid sleep and, more recently, considered a great anti-oxidant.

Recipe

Large handfuls of fresh Mint leaves (not too much stalk) and Lemon Verbena  (wash these well, as you don’t want the corpses of  a thousand small bugs and aphids floating in your tea!). Place in a heatproof jug or bowl and poor over freshly boiled water. Leave to infuse and cool. Serve  luke-warm or over ice, if you prefer. Add sugar to taste. To keep the flavour, removed the infused leaves and just add a few fresh leaves (again washed) to your glass before drinking. Simple,  but wonderful.

herb lemon balm

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