Cleopatra’s Ice Tea

Since the weather has taken a sunny turn I thought it time to introduce you to my refreshing, delicious and nutrient-boosting ice tea.

The base of this tea are hibiscus petals, which when dried make an antioxidant-rich brew apparently adored by Cleopatra who used it to enhance her legendary beauty. I’m not sure how accurate this is but I like the idea and hibiscus tea does have a nice array nutritional benefits that could be argued help it beautify your body inside and out.

I’ve also added a few other ingredients to make it a more flavoursome tea. The peppermint and lime help to make it more refreshing, while the ginger gives it a bit of bite and warmth. The elderflower cordial admittedly adds some sugar but also gives  a beautiful summery taste (I try to keep this to a minimum and you can choose to omit this if you want it to be sugar-free).

Ingredients

  • Hibiscus tea (organic if possible), 5-6 flowers or 2 tea bags.
  • Peppermint tea, 1 tea bag or 5 mint leaves.
  • 2 litres of water.
  • 2 tablespoons elderflower cordial.

To serve:

  • Shavings of fresh root ginger (I use a peeler – make sure you take the skin off first).
  • Mint leaves.
  • 1 lime.
  • Ice cubes.

Makes approximately 2 litres of tea.

  1. Boil 1 litre of water and add to a teapot with the hibiscus and peppermint tea, brew for 10 minutes. Take out the tea leaves/bags and leave to cool.
  2. Pour equally between 2 x 1 litre glass bottles (which have stoppers/caps). Then top up with cold water. This will make a relatively weak tea, if you prefer it stronger simply add less cold water. Add the elderflower cordial and chill in the fridge.
  3. To serve, pour into glasses, add some ice cubes, fresh lime juice and wedges (I use the juice of ½ lime between two glasses), mint leaves and a few shavings of ginger.

The Health Benefits of Hibiscus

  • Research has found hibiscus extract may play a role in helping to regulate the metabolism and aid in weight management. The same research also found that it could protect the liver as those taking the extract showed improvement in liver steatosis (fatty liver).
  • These benefits are predominantly linked to the high polyphenol content. Polyphenols are plant compounds known for being potent antioxidants and useful in disease prevention.
  • Hibiscus has traditionally been used to support heart and cardiovascular health as well the immune system.

It seems Cleopatra had the right idea with hibiscus. I love that this drink hits the spot on a hot summers day while also working to give your body a boost too.

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