Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sweet Tea and Garden Walks

This past weekend I had my booth at the Elmhurst Garden Walk and Faire.  It was a bit on the warm side, but we were in the shade and most of the day there was a nice breeze.  I served a tea I originally made for the Lisle Women’s Club garden walk called “Garden Gait.”  The tea contains black tea, with lemon verbena, black berry leaf, hibiscus and lavender.  The color is on the reddish side of brown and has a certain natural sweetness.  Now I am not a lover of sweet teas and although I tell my customers that honey is the best way to sweeten an herb-based tea, I rarely use it myself.

Now in the summer I know that people love a southern sweet tea, even McDonald’s seems to be serving one these days.  So when  Marcus Stout of Golden Moon Tea posted this recipe for a semi sweet tea, one that strays from the ratio of 1 cup sugar to 5 cups tea used in traditional sweet tea recipes, I had to share it with you.

This iced tea recipe is a good example of a semi sweet tea. He used a Honey Pear Tea to enhance the honey flavor of it as well as adding wonderful fresh pear notes.  It was the addition of grated ginger that had me grabbing the ingredients to try it.  The fresh ginger gives it some brightness.  And you cannot go wrong when adding ginger to something with honey.   I do not have any Honey Pear Tea on hand, so I used an English Breakfast to make mine and it was wonderfully refreshing after watering the garden in 90 degree heat.

Honey Pear Sweet(ish) Tea
  • 4 cups water
  • 16 teaspoons of Golden Moon Honey Pear Tea (or English Breakfast)
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • ½ cup honey
  • 6 cups cold water
  • 1 gallon pitcher

1.         Bring the 4 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan
2.        Add the tea and steep for 5 minutes (you want some of the tannins to come out so steeping it a little bit longer is OK)
3.        Strain into a 1 gallon pitcher
4.        Stir in the honey and ginger
5.        Add 6 cups cold water
6.        Serve over lots of ice

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