Lemon Lavender Iced Tea – Lightly Sweetened Black Iced Tea Infused with Lavender and Fresh Lemon Juice
Happy National Iced Tea Day! I’ve had culinary lavender growing in a pot on my back patio for a while now, and I’ve been meaning to use it in a recipe. The simplest solution was to turn it into a sweet simple syrup for beverages. I’ll admit I am quite addicted to iced tea, so naturally I thought of adding it to a fresh-brewed pitcher. The result is this lightly sweetened, refreshing Lemon Lavender Iced Tea. I plan to drink it by the pitcher-full all summer long!
Though it may seem strange to cook with floral flavors, lavender has been used in the kitchen for centuries. Queen Elizabeth I is said to have required a jar of lavender conserve (jelly) at every royal meal and drank lavender tea to stave off stress-related ailments. Queen Victoria also had a fondness for lavender; some say she is responsible for its popularity across England. She placed it in each of her rooms, used it to clean, scent the air and store between linens. Until the 19th Century, lavender was as common as rosemary is today. It’s unclear why it fell out of fashion for a while, but I’m pleased to see it making a return– especially in the kitchen.
Have you experimented with lavender in your kitchen? If so, what have you made?
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- In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup of water with the sugar and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add lavender and continue to boil for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely, then strain the lavender from the syrup with a mesh strainer.
- In another small saucepan, boil 2 cups of water. Remove from heat and add tea bags. Allow to steep for at least 30 minutes, then remove the tea bags.
- In a large pitcher, combine the lavender syrup, brewed tea, lemon juice and remaining 6 cups of water. Stir well to combine. You may add additional sugar or lemon juice to taste if desired; as written the drink is only lightly sweetened and refreshing.
- Chill the pitcher of tea thoroughly. Stir again, then pour over ice. Enjoy!