This post was written for and originally posted on T Ching
Right now, I am really into making honey-based herbal syrups for iced teas and lemonades. My current favorite is a green tea and rose lemonade with honey hibiscus syrup.
My latest obsession began when I caught the common cold, which led me to reach for the elderberry rosehip syrup that was waiting for me in the fridge (I knew the cold was going around, that’s why I was prepared!) I could have taken it by the spoonful, but I thought it was a better idea to turn it into a concoction that I could sip on throughout the day… so I added the syrup to lemon water, and now I’m hooked! I believe the medicinal value in the elderberry, rosehips, and honey reduced the length that I was sick; and the lemon was mightily helpful in breaking up congestion. And it was just absolutely delicious.
Elderberry syrup takes a bit longer to make since it involves making a decoction of the herbs (to extract the valuable constituents); however, if all you need is the flavor, a honey syrup can easily be made in less than half an hour. All you need is water, your flavorful herb, and honey.
Typically, flavored syrups are made with sugar and then drizzled over desserts or added to cocktails. However, honey is more flavorful, and it can add interest (and health benefits) to your basic iced tea.
For this iced green tea and rose lemonade, I used a green kukicha for its creamy quality and just a touch of matcha. I made the hibiscus syrup for its tart flavor (like lemons and cranberries) and gorgeous ruby-red color. When this drink is assembled and mixed, it becomes a lovely pink color with a subtle scent of rose.
With the next seasons approaching, I’m looking forward to making honey syrups with herbs like linden, elderflower, and lemon verbena. How about you? Which herbal syrups are you curious to try with your tea?
Green Tea & Rose Lemonade with Honey Hibiscus Syrup
You will need:
5 cups of Green Tea, chilled
½ cup Lemon Juice
3 tbsp. Rose Water
Honey Hibiscus Syrup
Make your green tea. For my 5 cups of water, I used 20 grams of kukicha and 3 grams of matcha. I steep my tea at 160℉ for 4 minutes. Once the tea is ready, remove the tea leaves. Add the lemon juice and rose water to your green tea, then chill.
Make your Honey Hibiscus Syrup. Take 3/4 cup of very hot water to ½ cup (25 grams) of hibiscus. Cover and allow to steep for 20 minutes. Then strain out the flowers, and combine the infusion with ½ cup of honey (I used wildflower honey). Stir in the honey until it’s fully dissolved.
Assemble your drink. Fill a cup with ice, green tea, and as much syrup as you’d like. Sip and enjoy!