A few weeks ago I had the best iced tea of my life. Lavender iced tea to be exact. Sweet, cold, and refreshing, it sat unpretentiously all day in a plain stainless steel dispenser in the communal dining room at Kripalu in Lenox, MA. http://www.kripalu.org/ After three or four glasses at lunch, I skipped the afternoon yoga class for which I had registered to sneak downstairs to the gift shop to try to find the recipe in one of their cookbooks. No luck. Returning home that night with neither the recipe nor the benefit of the relaxing afternoon yoga class, I immediately logged on to my computer to search for the recipe. (I know…I’m obsessive about these things.) Again, no luck. (Probably bad karma for skipping the yoga.) I did, however, find a recipe for lavender honey. Here’s how I made an awfully close version of the Kripalu tea.
LAVENDER ICED TEA
1. Make the lavender honey. Warm one cup of honey (I use local honey) in a small pot on top of the stove. Do not let boil. Add 2 TBS of dried culinary lavender buds. Let sit on very low heat for 15-30 minutes depending on how strong a lavender flavor you like. Strain out the buds.
2. Make the iced tea. I used 5 plain black tea bags to a pitcher of boiling water. While the bags were steeping, I added a large handful of fresh mint, including the stems, and half a large lemon, squeezed and then put into the pitcher, rind and all. When fully steeped, remove the bags, mint and lemon.
3. While the tea is still hot, and THIS IS IMPORTANT, add the lavender honey to taste. Otherwise, the honey will sit as a solid mass in the bottom of the pitcher–a very frustrating situation from which even yoga will not save you. Stir and let cool.
Note: Any extra lavender honey is sublime spread on warm biscuits or scones!