Going herbal

by Brittany Grace

I adore tea parties. The kind where you drink and eat – not the other kind. I think I will start having more of them.

Recently, while waltzing through East Atlanta Village Farmer’s Market, I stopped for a honey basil tea at one of the farm stands. I was delighted by how refreshing it was, and ended up disappointed that I only got a tiny paper cup in which to drink the tea. When I inquired of the secret ingredient for the drink, the farmer smiled. “Just basil leaves and honey. That’s it,”  he shrugged.

Alice at the Mad Hatter's tea party — Illustration by John Tenniel

For an instant, I was reminded of Alice in Wonderland, and Alice’s indignant attitude toward the evasiveness of the Mad Hatter. Not that the farmer seemed off his rocker, but I was expecting some sort of brilliant secret to be shared between the two of us. Instead, I ended up wondering why I hadn’t already made this absurdly easy, supremely tasty concoction.

Well. Time to make this for Grace’s Goodness. And myself. So, I bought a nice sack of purple and green Thai basil sprigs and took them home. After steeping them in hot water, they turned the liquid an inky watercolor-purple color. I added about 3/4 cup of honey, and stirred gently. Then scooped the basil out of the water, stirred some more, and poured into a pitcher. Voila! Refreshing, surprising  herbal tea!  Pour over ice and garnish with a basil sprig and lemon slice.

1 or 2 big handfuls of Thai basil

Honey to taste (Southerners, I know we like our tea sweet, but if you lay off the honey a little, the flavor of basil will really shine through)

1 big pot of water **

** Make your tea according to your taste (0r the taste of who you’re making it for) – the bigger the difference in ratio between water and herbs, the weaker your tea will taste.

COMING SOON: More herbal tea recipes. And cocktail concoctions, to boot!

Chamomile tea can make an excellent nightcap...

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