Monday, May 30, 2011

Good old Sweet tea with a lemony-herb twist!

sweet lemon-thyme tea
The sun has been out, shinning his wonderfully warm bright rays on us down here and with memorial weekend and summer right around the corner I thought some sweet tea recipes and some awesome tasty BBQ recipes would just do the trick.
I really enjoy sweet tea and I must admit I thoroughly enjoy Micky D's sweet tea, and since I live in the south the tea here is sweet! (just the way I like it)

 But I like the good flavor of sun ripened tea, you know the one that sits out in a glass jug all afternoon basking in the sun. I remember my mom making sun ripened sweet tea, you could see the color of the tea changing as it seeped in the sun.

When I make my sweet tea I like using black tea (sometimes green tea but I 'm focusing on the black teas now)
Tea itself has many good qualities about it, If combined with other herbs and spices you can have a homemade remedy to colds and chills.
Studies show that the antioxidants in black and green teas are highly beneficial to our health.
Black tea not only helps to fight bacteria but also strengthens the immune system.Drinking tea also hydrates the body, and a cup of black tea helps moisturize the skin. Black tea also balances the hormone levels, which fends off stress. Not only does black tea have anti-inflammatory qualities, it also keeps a check on the digestive tracts functioning. It can help reduce stroke risks as it balances the cholesterol level. So that's a lot of health benefits.

I love mixing and making my own tea's, in the cold season I love using ginger and lemon to make a soothing tea to calm the body.
My grandma (who was a missionary in Ecuador) brought back some Hierba Luisa aka lemon grass. she lives in FL now and has it growing in her beautiful garden.
She uses it to make tea. A sweet lemony flavored tea I JUST LOVE IT!!!it has soothing qualities and relaxes your body not to mention it tastes amazing!
I however do not have this incredible plant and am hoping to get it soon!
(If you can get your hands on this plant and would like to make the tea follow the instructions below)

Lemon thyme-Picture courtesy Ger-Nis
But as I said, I sadly don't have any lemon grass at my place, so I decided to explore and experiment with some herbs that I do have.
We have some lemon-thyme growing outside and I love the smell and flavor it has, it resembles lemon grass but has a more earthy flavor to it.
So here is my recipe for some refreshing Lemon-Thyme infused sweet tea;

Lemon-Thyme infused Sweet Black Tea Recipe


  • 3 big tea bags or six individual tea bags (I use Tetley's iced tea blend)
  • 1/2 cup rinsed and cut lemon thyme branches
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 6 cups cold fresh water
  • 3/4 cup Turbinado sugar  (or regular sugar to taste)
  • Pinch of baking soda
  1. Sprinkle a pinch of baking soda into a 64-ounce, heat-proof, glass pitcher. The baking soda makes the tea smooth, but only put in a pinch or it will taste fishy)
  2. Pour in boiling water, and add tea bags and lemon-thyme. 
  3. Cover, and allow to steep for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove tea bags, and discard; stir in sugar until dissolved. Pour in cool water, then refrigerate until cold. 
  5. Enjoy!   
For those who want to do this the sun ripened way just make sure you let the tea mix "ripen" outside in direct strong sunlight for at least 2 hours, and you might only want to use 2 big tea bags or 4 small ones but that is according to taste ;-)

    So I hope you like it! there is nothing better than a good cup of sweet tea with or without the added flavor. I just think it gives it a real earthy flavor to it!
    Experiment with flavors and you might find some really good ones! also you can opt not to sweeten or to use sweetener.

    Lemon-thyme sweet tea

    mmm-mmm good
     Here's the lemongrass/ Hierba Luisa recipe I like;

    Hierba Luisa (Lemon grass) Tea Recipe

    Printable version

    Lemongrass infuses this lightly sweetened, refreshing iced tea with subtle flavor.
    Serves 6 to 8.

    Lemongrass-Picture courtesy Wallpaperstock


    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup, plus 4 cups, plus 3 cups water
    • 1 large stalk lemongrass, dry tops and tough outer leaves removed, stalk cut into small rounds (about 1/4 cup)
    • 2 tablespoons  ginger, peeled and chopped (optional)
    • 4 mild black teabags, such as Darjeeling or Assam
    • Ice for serving


    1. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, 1/2 cup water, lemongrass and ginger (if desired). Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to the dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the lemongrass and ginger to steep in the sugar syrup for at least half an hour. For more pronounced flavor, place in the refrigerator and allow to steep several hours or overnight. 
    2. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add the teabags, turn off the heat, and allow the tea to steep for 5 minutes. Squeeze out the teabags and discard. Pour the brewed tea into a heat-proof pitcher. 
    3. Strain the lemongrass ginger syrup through a small sieve, pressing on the solids to extract as much flavor as possible. Discard the solids, and add the syrup to the pitcher of tea. Add three cups of cold water to the tea, and stir well. Chill the tea, and serve over ice. Enjoy!
    Recipe courtesy Miri Rotkovitz


    1. Mmmm. Sounds good. I'll have to try it.

    2. I LOVE sweet tea since having Corey coffee doesn't sit well with me anymore so sweet tea has been a life saver!

    3. I love ice tea but I have never tried leaving it in the sun to turn into this beauty!..
      will have to try this real soon

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    5. Hey fooddoctor ;-) I Love a good jar of sun ripened sweet tea! I usually take one big tea bag (or 2 small) out of the recipe above to make sure the flavor is right ;-) and you need to make sure the tea can sit in strong sunlight for at least 2hours (I like it longer)Thanks for the comment hope it turns out for you!