This week has kicked my butt. Between finishing up some big assignments, working on outside projects, and nearly setting my apartment on fire, I fell sick and have been fighting off dehydration, nausea and fatigue for the past few days. Typically I would rely on Gatorade or Para Coffee’s iced mint tea to help me stay hydrated, but I’ve decided to forego the plastic cups and try making my own thirst quenchers. Luckily for me, the Charlottesville Farmer’s Market opens up this weekend, where I’ll have the chance to grab some great local ingredients to throw in my drinks. Early spring is a great time to grab fresh herbs, edible flowers, and, my favorite spring treat, local strawberries. Here are a few iced drink recipes I plan on making with herbs and fruit from the market this weekend.
Strawberry iced tea
4 cups hot water (heated to 175 F, not boiling)
4 green or white tea bags (=4 tsp loose leaf tea)
½-3/4 cup strawberries
¼-1/2 cup sugar, or to taste
Fresh mint (optional)
Puree strawberries. If using mint, mash leaves with sugar with a mortar and pestle until finely ground, and add to strawberry mixture.
Brew green tea in a pitcher and let cool to room temperature. (Make sure the water is not at boiling temperature, or your tea will taste bitter.)
Place in refrigerator until chilled. Add strawberry mixture and stir gently with spoon. Serve over ice.
**when it’s peach season, this tastes great with black tea, peaches, and basil or thyme!
Iced cardamom-mint coffee
6 tbsp coffee grounds
½ tsp ground cardamom
4 cups water
3-4 stems fresh mint
¼-1/2 cup sugar
Milk or cream (optional)
Place coffee grounds and cardamom together in the filter. Brew coffee and let cool.
Mash mint leaves with sugar with a mortar and pestle until finely ground, and stir into coffee.
Chill in the refrigerator, and serve with milk or cream if desired.
Black tea lemonade
2 black tea bags
2 cups hot water
Juice of one lemon
2 cups cold water
1/3-2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp thyme leaves
Pinch of salt
Brew black tea and let cool.
Mash sugar with thyme leaves until finely crushed. Stir in lemon juice and salt. Slowly add in cold water and stir continuously so sugar dissolves completely.
Add to black tea mixture and chill in the refrigerator. Serve over ice.
If you’re not keen on the idea of making iced tea but want to try out some new herby, spring-y recipes, check these out:
Hungry Ghost’s basil-pear cake or rhubarb-ginger coffee cake
101 Cookbook’s herb cream cheese scrambled eggs or rhubarb-rosewater syrup
Green Kitchen Stories’ Flower Power cake
What are you planning on doing with your market haul, or what are you looking forward to at the market the most? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below!