I have an affinity for iced teas. Living in a city with soaring temperatures and oppressive humidity all year round, that doesn’t come as much of a surprise. My favourite would have to be the plain lemon iced tea closely followed by this peach version, but of late I’ve been trying a few other variations as well.
This lime and basil tea might sound a bit ordinary, but the basil is steeped in the brewing tea which gives it a bit of a Moroccan – albeit with basil instead of mint – twist. Which contrarily makes me feel all tropical too, and I like that feeling. I’m sitting here right now by the bay window that overlooks our lawn, sipping on a glass of this as I type..it’s the closest I can get to lying in a hammock.
I bought some basil last week for this bruschetta, but ended up using only a few sprigs for it. Herbs never last when refrigerated, so I had to come up with a plan to use them up before they started to dry up and wilt. Seeing that I had had some good luck with propagating mint from cuttings (new post coming up on that soon – watch this space), I decided to give basil a shot as well.
A week in a glass jar with the only task of changing up the water on a daily basis and making sure they got ample sunlight (not direct), they have now started to develop roots! I almost yelped with joy! Superstitious or not, I’m going to take that as a good sign for our new home. In fact, the basil flowers that I’ve used here are from the mother plant, which is getting accustomed to its new environment quite nicely.
Even though this iced tea of basil and lime lacks in quintessential authenticity, it definitely makes up every bit of it in flavour. The essence of comfort and summer in every sip.
INGREDIENTS: (Makes 1 litre)
3 tea bags
1 litre water
½ cup granulated sugar
A handful of basil leaves (plus extra for garnish)
Juice of 3 big limes
Bring ½ litre of water to the boil and drop in the tea bags, sugar, and basil leaves.Turn off the heat and let it brew for 3 – 4 minutes with the lid on (not more as it tends to turn bitter). Discard tea bags, and let the tea cool slightly.
Add ½ litre of cold water and lime juice to the brewed tea. Taste and adjust sugar and lime according to your palette.
To serve, add a few ice cubes to a glass and top with the tea. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and lime (optional) and serve chilled.