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Herb Beverages

Also see: More Beverages

Allspice Wassail Bowl Elderflower Pop Hops Lemonade Orangemint Spiced Tea
Applemint Ale Elderflower Tea Iced Herbal Tea Rose Geranium Punch
Breakfast Fruit Julius Gingerale Iced Mint Sage Punch
Charles Dickens Punch Gingered Vegetable Juice Lemon Balm Tea Shakespeare Tea
Chickpea Tea Herb Drinks Liberty Tea Strawberry Mint Ice Cubes
Coffee Substitutes Herb Root Beer Mint Punch Sun Tea
Eggnog Herb Tea Orangemint Cooler Switchel
Wood Sorrel Lemonade

on this pageAllspice Wassail Bowl

1 gallon apple cider
1 cup dark brown sugar (packed)
1 can frozen lemon concentrate
1 can frozen orange juice concentrate
1 tbsp whole cloves
1 tbsp allspice
1 tbsp ground nutmeg
24 cinnamon sticks

In a large kettle combine the cider, brown sugar, undiluted lemon and orange juices. Tie cloves and allspice in a spice bag or cheesecloth and add it to the cider along with the nutmeg. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove and discard the bag. Serve hot in mugs with a cinnamon stick in each mug. Serves 24.

on this pageApplemint Ale

½ cup sugar
1 cup water
18 sprigs applemint
4 lemons
1 quart of gingerale

Boil sugar and waer till sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add 10 sprigs apple mint. Chill. Add the juice of 4 lemons and strain. After filling mint julep glasses with crushed ice, add ½ cup applemint ale and fill to top with gingerale. Add sprig of applemint and serve. Serves 4.

on this pageBreakfast Fruit Julius

1 quart chamomile or rose hip tea
1 can (46-oz) pineapple juice
2 ripe bananas
2 cups yogurt
1 quart orange juice
juice of 4 limes

Make tea and strain. Combine tea with pineapple juice. Blend bananas and yogurt together till smooth then add tea/pineapple mix, orange juice and lime juice. Serve cold.

on this pageCharles Dickens Punch

2 cups water
½ cup sugar
2 tbsp lemon peel
¼ cup borage flowers
2 cups sherry
1 cup brandy
4 cups apple cider

Pour boiling water over the sugar, lemon peel, and borage and let sit for 10 minutes. Strain and add sherry, brandy and cider.

on this pageChickpea Tea

Roast dried chickpeas in the oven till they turn a dark brown. Grind them in a coffee mill or nut grinder. Use 1 cup of water and 1 tsp ground chickpea. Simmer together for 7 minutes then strain and drink.

on this pageChristmas Tea

Combine equal parts sage, peppermint, red rosehips, ½ part alfalfa and 4 dried stevia leaves. Use 1 tsp per cup of boiling water and steep 15 minutes.

on this pageCoffee Substitutes

Both dandelion and chickory roots can be used as a coffee substitute. They can also be added to coffee in order to stretch the coffee over the week. They can be used alone or blended together.

Method 1

Can be used for both dandelion and chickory roots. Harvest the roots and wash them gently, then slice and allow to dry. A dehydrator is a good tool for this as roots take longer to dry than other plant parts. Place the dried roots on a cookie sheet in a 200°F oven and roast till a deep brown. Store in glass jars as-is and, when ready to use, grind into a fine powder using a coffee mill. For each cup of beverage, add a cup of boiling water to each tsp of the powder.

Method 2

For Dandelion root: you will need to improvise a steamer. I use a large mesh screen spatter shield that will fit over a skillet of boiling water. It is inexpensive, easily available and comes in handy in the kitchen. Harvest the roots and wash them, being careful not to bruise them. Get the water boiling in the skillet because the next step must be done quickly. Slice the roots and place immediately on the screen placed over the water. Continue to steam slices till the root stops seeping its milky substance. At that point remove the slices and allow to cool till they can be handled easily. Cut them into smaller pieces and dry them using a dehydrator or else air dry them, but it will take much longer. When dry, roast them lightly at 200°F to 225°F till a deep brown. They may be stored in this form and then powdered in a coffee mill when desired for usage. For optimum taste, grind fresh for each use. To use, add one level tsp per iron-close teabag (available from herbalware retailers) or use the same amount in a diffuser. Allow to steep for 5 min or till desired taste is reached.

on this pageEggnog

6 fresh eggs
¾ cup sugar
1 pint heavy cream
1 pint milk
1 pint straight bourbon
1 oz Jamaica rum

Beat egg yolks separately. Add ½ cup sugar to yolks. Beat egg whites very stiff. Add ¼ cup sugar to egg whites. Fold in cream, milk, bourbon and rum. Serve very cold with grated nutmeg on the top of each cup. Makes 5 pints.

on this pageElderflower Pop

10 quarts water
30 to 50 clusters of elder flowers
1/3 quart concentrated pear juice or 4½ lbs sugar
3 lemons, sliced
juice of 1 lemon

Place water, flowers and lemon slices in a large crock and allow to stand for 24 hours. Strain off flowers and add lemon juice and either pear juice or sugar. Stir well and allow the mixture to stand for another 24 hours. A slight fermentation process will take place and the pop is ready to drink. It may be poured off into bottles and allowed to stand in a cool cellar. After 3 to 4 weeks a quantity of carbolic acid will have been produced and the pop will prickle like champagne when drunk cold or chilled.

on this pageElderflower Tea

Combine 1 cup dried elderflowers, 2 tsp anise seed, 1 cup dried alfalfa, 1 tsp grated orange rind. Use 1 tsp per cup of boiling hot water, steeped 5 to 8 minutes.

on this pageGingerale

Version 1:

Wash and chop a medium-sized root of ginger. Add 1 quart of water and let simmer till water is strong, dark-yellow in color. Cool and strain, then add honey to taste and place in a clean bottle. Add carbonated water (like Perrier) and cap.

Version 2
1 tsp ginger root, freshly grated (or ½ tsp dry powder)
2 cups water
1 cup carbonated water
juice of one lemon
pinch of cayenne powder (optional)

Bring the ginger and plain water to a boil; then reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cover. Let steep an additional 10 minutes. Strain and add carbonated water and lemon juice just before serving as well as cayenne powder if using.

on this pageGingered Vegetable Juice

5 carrots
1 apple
½-inch of fresh ginger

Juice all ingredients in an electric juicer. Can be diluted with water if desired.

on this pageHerb Drinks

  1. Take 2 oz each of dandelion, meadowsweet and agrimoney to 2 gallons of water. Boil for 20 minutes, then add 2 lbs of sugar and ½ pint of yeast. Stand in a warm place for 12 hours, then bottle.
  2. Boil 1 quart of water down to two-thirds and add 20 to 30 leaves of sage, half as much of rosemary and a pinch or two of saffron. Infuse for 15 minutes, covered, then pour off and drink hot with sugar.

on this pageHerb Root Beer

Version 1

Gather roots of burdock (Arctium lappa), yellow dock (Rumex crispus), sarsaparilla (Smilax officinalis), dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), and spikenard (Aralia racemosa) plus a quantity of hops. Dry them thoroughly (a dehydrator is a valuable piece of equipment for drying roots). Chip ½-oz of each root and combine with ½-oz of hops in a large kettle. Pour 1 gallon of water of the mixture and boil hard for 20 minutes. Strain while still hot. Add 10 drops each of oils of spruce and sassafras well mixed. When lukewarm, stir in 2/3 pint of molasses and 3 tbsp of liquid hop yeast. Mix well. Let stand in stone crock, covered with cloth in a warm place for two hours. Bottle, cork bottles well and store on a cold cellar floor.

Version 2
1½ gallons molasses
5 gallons water
4 oz wintergreen leaf
8 oz sassafras root bark
½ cup dry yeast

Heat molasses and water to 160°F and let stand for 2 hours. Add herbs and yeast and let ferment for 12 hours at room temp and then bottle or refrigerate.

on this pageHerb Tea

Great culinary teas can be made using combinations of herbs, fruits and spices. These same combinations can be added to the real thing (tea- that is) for a tea lover's change of pace. Invest in a good tea infuser unless you plan to take up reading weed leaves in your spare time. Another excellent option is a product called "iron-close tea bags" available through the catalog resources.

Here are a few guidelines regarding herbal tea. Tea made from:

A simple way to develop your own blends is to read the labels of herbal teas on the supermarket shelves and then duplicate them in your kitchen. When an herb is used alone to make a tea, this is referred to as "simpling". The following herbs taste good on their own: Anise, Anise Hyssop, Cinnamon Basil, Lemon Basil, Beebalm, Chamomile, Red Clover, Costmary, Dill, Fennel, Ginger, Sweet Goldenrod, Labrador tea, Lemon balm, Lemon grass, Lemon verbena, Lime balm, Mints, Rosemary, Pineapple sage.

Dry fruit slices and berries on a dehydrator to add to your herb blends. Some combinations to experiment with are: lemon slices, lime balm, orangemint and allspice; orange slices, rose hips and cinnamon; dried cranberries, lemon or lime balm, mint and cinnamon; dried apple peels, dried cranberries, cinnamon and cloves; dried stawberries, lemon balm and spearmint; dried pineapple, dried orange and blue balsam tea mint; dried peaches, rose hips and allspice. Determine which will be the predominant flavor and then balance the remaining ingredients to suit your own taste. This is one drink you can definitely use to toast to your health.

Herb Tea Blends from Doris O'Connell

Doris has spent a lifetime helping people to get a handle on their finances and live within their incomes. Along the way she's practiced the frugality she teaches. These recipes are quite frankly the best I've come across in my years as an herbalist.

All ingredients are used in their dried form. Purchase hibiscus flowers at a health food store to insure edibility. All fruits, except strawberries and raspberries are cut or chopped into fine pieces. Herbs and spices are either crumbled, rubbed or as with cloves and allspice used whole, but a small amount of ground spice could be used instead of the whole form.

Preheat teapot with boiling water. Measure herb tea into the hot teapot and fill with boiling water and cover for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve by pouring through a fine tea strainer.

For iced tea allow to cool to lukewarm then strain into glass jars and refrigerate.

Measure "parts" by weight. Use a kitchen scale.

Thyme should be used only in tiny quantities. Violets can also be used. Dried cherries, dried apple and any dried citrus fruit or peel, but be careful of grapefruit peel which is very bitter. Dried pineapple, dried wild grapes (Fox grapes), dried kiwi, dried strawberries, dried gooseberries, dried currants, dried cranberries or almost any fruit except bananas will work fine. Also 2 parts stawberry leaves, dried and crumbled in 1 part strawberries and ¼ part lemon slices (chopped). Also 1 part dried peaches ground fine or chopped small, ½ part lemon and ½ part spearmint.

Lemon Refresher: 1 part dried sliced lemon (chopped), 2 parts dried mint. Add 1 to 2 whole allspice to each pot of tea. Drink hot or cold.

Orange Spice: 2 parts chopped dried orange slices (or dried orange peel), 1 part dried hibiscus flowers (or rose hips), 1 part lemon verbena (or lemon mint). Put 1 to 3 whole cloves in each pot depending on size. Drink hot or cold.

Cranberry Delight: 1 part dried cranberries (cut in half before drying), 1 part catnip, 1 part lemon mint (or orangemint), 1/3 part dried lemon slices (or lemon peel cut in small pieces). Best cold.

Hibiscus Cooler: 1 part dried hibiscus, ½ part orange peel finely cut or chopped, ½ part to 2 parts rose hips, ½ part dried chopped sliced lemon or dried lemon peel, 1 part spearmint. Drink hot or cold.

Apple and Spice: ½ part dried lemon slices chopped fine, 2 parts dried apple peels, 2 parts dried applemint or peppermint, 1 part chamomile. Break one cinnamon stick into tiny pieces with a hammer per quart of dry tea mix.

Mint Medley Tea: 1 part dried peppermint, 1 part dried spearmint, 1 part dried catnip or chocolate mint, ½ part dried chopped lemon slices. Drink hot or cold.

Anise Tea: 1 part anise seed or dried anise hyssop leaves, 1 part rose hips or 1 part dried lemon slices chopped fine or dried lemon peel cut very fine. Drink hot or cold.

Pineapple Tea: 1 part dried pineapple chopped very fine, 2 parts dried pineapple mint or spearmint, 1/8 to ¼ part of dried lemon peel or dried lemon slices chopped fine. A few pieces of rosemary in the pot is optional. Drink hot or cold.

on this pageHops Lemonade

½ oz fresh hops or ¼ oz dried hops
a small piece of bruised ginger root
1 bunch of fresh applemint or other mint
1 thinly sliced lemon
2/3 cup brown sugar

Fill a large pan with 4½ pints of cold water and add the hops, ginger, mint and lemon. Bring to a boil and simmer fast for 30 minutes. The liquid will have reduced by about half. Strain and stir in sugar. Stir to dissolve the sugar and boil for 5 minutes. Pour into a jug and allow to cool.

on this pageIced Mint

You will need 3 cups fresh mint leaves, 6 tbsp sugar and the juice of 3 lemons. Pound the mint leaves to a pulp in a mortar and pestle, then add 2 tbsp of sugar and pound again. Make a syrup by boiling 2¼ pints of water with the remaining sugar for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Add the lemon juice and the mint pulp. Stir well and chill several hours before serving.

on this pageIced Herbal Tea

Pour 2 quarts of boiling water over 4 or 5 tea bags or 8 to 10 fresh applemint or spearmint leaves or 6 to 8 dried leaves. Add 1½ to 2 cups of sugar and steep for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice. Pour into a 4 quart pitcher which is half filled with cold water. For variation add dried or fresh lemon or orange peel in a tea strainer and/or lemon balm or verbena. Low-cal sweeteners or honey may be substituted if desired.

on this pageLemon Balm Tea

10 sprigs fresh lemon balm and 4 whole cloves in 2 cups hot water and steeped for 10 minutes. Add 2 tbsp honey and 1 tbsp lemon juice.

on this pageLiberty Tea

Version 1: Combine equal parts betony, sweet goldenrod, New Jersey tea leaves, red clover blossoms. Use 1 tsp per cup of boiling water and steep 5 to 10 minutes.

Version 2: 2 parts raspberry leaves, 1 part each of bee balm flowers, elderberries and elder flowers. Use 1 tsp per cup of boiling water and steep 5 to 10 minutes.

on this pageMint Punch

Pick a quart of fresh mint leaves, then wash and dry them. Put them into a large container and bruise them with a wooden spoon till soft. Cover with boiling hot water and infuse for 10 minutes. Strain, cool, then set on ice till required. Add two cups of chilled grape juice and some strained fresh lemon juice to taste. Sweeten with sugar and stir till sugar is dissolved. Add a quart of gingerale. Fill each tumbler to 1/3 with cracked ice and fill up with the punch.

on this pageOrangemint Cooler

2 cups crushed orangemint leaves
1 cup sugar
6 cups water
6 tea bags
1 can (12-oz) concentrated orange juice
¼ cup mint or basil vinegar
sugar to taste
sprigs for garnish

Bring leaves, sugar and water to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes. Add tea bags and steep for 5 minutes. Remove bags and add orange juice diluted according to directions. Add vinegar. If too sharp add more sugar. Cool and serve over ice and garnish.

on this pageOrangemint Spiced Tea

Place 2 tsp orangemint or peppermint, ¼ cup orange juice, 2 tbsp finely grated orange peel, ¼ tsp ground cloves, ½ tsp cinnamon and 2 tbsp of honey in 1 quart of hot tea. Keep warm over low flame for 20 minutes before serving.

on this pageRose Geranium Punch

5 cups apple juice
4 limes
1 cup sugar
6 leaves of rose scented geranium

Boil apple juice, sugar and geranium leaves for 5 minutes. Add thinly sliced and crushed limes. Cool and strain. Pour over ice and garnish with geranium petals.

on this pageSage Punch

2 handfuls fresh sage leaves
2 to 3 quarts water
2 cans mandarin orange sections (without juice)
2 to 3 tsp honey
1 bottle nonalocholic champagne (or regular champagne, or gingerale)

Brew 2 to 3 quarts of sage tea using the water and fresh sage. Allow to cool for several hours in the refrigerator. Stir in the honey and add the fruit. Add the champagne. Serve chilled and decorated with sage leaves.

on this pageShakespeare Tea
2 cups mint (peppermint or spearmint or mix 1 cup of each)
½ cup marjoram
1/3 cup whole savory leaves
¼ cup lavender flowers

Mix thoroughly and store in tightly covered container. To use, steep 1 tsp per cup of water just off the boil for 5 to 10 minutes. Sweeten if desired.

on this pageStrawberry-Mint Ice Cubes

Place a bruised mint leaf and half a strawberry into each ice cube tray section. Float in summer drinks.

on this pageSun Tea

Placing a glass container full of water and tea in the sun is a very old method of producing an exceptionally good tasting tea without any bitter components to mar the taste. The method works equally well for standard tea as well as herbal tea. For herbs you will need iron-close tea bags or an infuser. The number of tea bags to be used is dependent on the size of the jar you are using.

2 quart (or liter) jar = 4 tea bags
3 liter jar = 6 tea bags
1 gallon jar = 8 tea bags

Use cold tap water and place in the for about 6 hours. The time may be slightly shorter or longer depending on the intensity of the sun and the time of the year. For variations try using ¾ water and ¼ fruit juice.

on this pageSwitchel

Before there was Gatorade, there was switchel. Before there was mechanization of farm machinery, there were men slaving under the hot summer sun in the fields. The women would haul gallons of switchel out to the fields for the men to restore lost body fluids and hopefully give the men a second wind. Although this recipe calls for apple cider vinegar, you can actually use any herbal flavored vinegar as well....basil vinegar, dill vinegar, etc. One version given in the book Bountiful Sweet Basil by Tanya Jackson, calls for opal basil vinegar and it is probably the most elegant of them all.

1 gallon cold water
1 cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup sugar
a pinch of ground ginger

Combine and chill.

OPAL BASIL SWITCHEL: Substitute 1 cup of opal basil vinegar for the apple cider vinegar in the recipe above. Serve in tall glasses with a sprig of deep purple basil. If you prefer a milder version use ¾ cup of vinegar, 1/3 cup of sugar and 1 tsp of salt.

on this pageWood Sorrel Lemonade
Limonade sans Citrous, Limonade Sèche
Source: Le Dictionnaire des Manages - Paris 1820

Take 3 tsps Salt of Sorrel (substitute tartaric acid) and one pound of white sugar. Reduce them to a powder separately and then mix them. Keep the powder, which is known as dry lemonade, in a well-corked bottle. Divide the powder into suitable portions and you have lemonade powders without lemons.

©1999 by Ernestina Parziale, CH