Eating Local for Urban Families. Gluten-free and Dairy-free, too!

Tuesday, July 8

Almost too pretty to drink: Mint + Rose Infusion

This gorgeous infusion is inspired by a recipe from Gayla at You Grow Girl in her book by the same name. (Did you know you can also follow her on twitter? Follow @yougrowgirl.)

The recipe is basically this:
1. Put some edible herbs (like mint, lavender, lemon balm) in a clean jar.
2. Cover with tepid water.
3. Set the jar out in the sun for 3 - 6 hours. Viola! Tea.
From this process you get a subtly infused tea. Gayla recommends this method over boiling the herbs as extreme heat can bring out bitter oils in the plants and ruin the infusion.

Also, make sure the plants are clean and take the tea inside after about 6 hours and put it in the fridge, so you don't get bacteria buildup.

A friend gave me a giant container of edibles in the spring and it included spearmint. Guess what I've now got coming out of my ears? Mint is practically a weed, it grows so quickly and is so aggressive. (Good thing I love mohitos.) If you want to grow it, and I absolutely recommend it for its versatility (and mohitos), just make sure you always keep it in a container!

One new thing I learned about mint this year is you have to use the top 6 inches of leaves and leave the rest behind--they older leaves are too bitter. I found this out by unwittingly giving a "mature" leaf to Clara and listening to the resulting whining and gagging for about a half hour.

My infusion is a little tender, meaning the flavor is light. I'm not sure if this is normal or if perhaps I need to use petals from newer rose flowers. Thoughts? The mint is definitely the dominant flavor, and the rose is there if you look for it. It's very refreshing on its own and a bit of a treat with a touch of simple syrup.
Honestly, I think my favorite thing about this little recipe is how pretty it looks while it's "cooking."


mediaChick said...

Gorgeous tea! Yum!

Lisa said...

Yes, mint is just like a weed, but such a charming one! I just love my chocolate mint plant.

Your infusion is gorgeous! I love the idea of it. I like making iced tea in the sun but had never really thought of creating my own infusions with flowers and herbs from my garden. Thanks for the inspiration!

Anonymous said...

Interesting.. although does it not remind you too much of old flowerpot water? It might work nice as a special addition to Mojitos