Long sunny days, balmy evenings and bbqs, these all symbolize the usual kiwi summer. It is customary to feel like something refreshing to drink at the end of the day, whether it is to share with friends, to cool off with, or to just mark the end of a beautiful day.
It’s tempting for this to be a wine, beer or gin and tonic, however today I’d like to offer you some delicious, non-alcoholic options to try.
Iced teas - they are easy to make, impart health boosting properties, plus they are thirst quenching and refreshing!
Hibiscus: known as “sour tea” in Iran, is a delicious and refreshing summertime drink. This pleasant-tasting herb with the deep-red colour also has beneficial health properties, specifically for those looking to support cardiovascular health. There was a study in 2010 that showed that drinking a daily consumption of three servings of H. sabdariffa (hibiscus) tea, which can be easily incorporated into our daily diet, effectively lowered blood pressure in pre and mildly hypertensive adults.
Studies have shown that H. sabdariffa can relax blood vessels, perhaps via action on calcium channels, and acting as an ACE inhibitor, and a diuretic. There have also been studies showing that hibiscus can inhibit platelet aggregation (blood clotting) and increase blood vessel integrity helping to reduce cholesterol.
Hibiscus also contains vitamin c, which is makes it a popular tea to help support immunity and the formation of collagen.
Hibiscus Iced Tea Sparkler
- 4 cups of boiling water
- 8 bags or 16 tsp. of hibiscus tea
- ½ cup of honey
- 2 cups of sparkling water
- Strawberries to garnish
- In a large pitcher, combine tea bags, honey and boiling water; let steep for 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on how strong you like your tea
- Remove tea bags or dried herb
- Add ice to pitcher and stir in sparkling water
- Add mint
- Refrigerate for 1 hour or until chilled
- Garnish with strawberries
- 1 tbsp of Lemon Verbena leaves
- 150mls of freshly boiled, filtered water
- Infuse for 5 minutes
- Remove the leaves
- Stir in the 1 tsp. of honey while your tea is still warm and allow to cool
- Add the sweet tea and 1 tsp. of lemon juice to a shaker with plenty of ice
- Shake vigorously, then strain into a glass with fresh ice
- Garnish with a lemon slice and a sprig of mint.
These are just a couple of the herb teas that can be enjoyed cold. Others include peppermint, lemongrass and chamomile, plus the Japanese have reaped the health benefits of chilled green tea for years. Serve your herb teas chilled or experiment a little to make a refreshing iced tea mocktail perfect for those summer evenings