Lemon-what, now?

One of the perks of the Singing Whale Farm share is the neat herbs we grow for you guys. I love to just hang out with the smells of the mint and basil when we are bagging up the veggies each week! Of course these plants aren’t just for smellin’, but what to do with them before they go bad? This week’s challenge is Lemon Balm! This adorable little plant is part of the mint family and is often used by folks who want to add a lemony fresh scent to things like DIY soaps, tinctures, and lotions. You can also cook with it, using it in a lot of the same things you would use mint for.

This week we gave you about 3 stalks of lemon balm which is perfect for making a refreshing warm weather beverage: Lemon balm iced tea! Hot tea is of course also an option, but I tend towards cold drinks in the spring and summer. If you look online there will be lots of different recipes but they largely consist of only three parts: Lemon balm, water, and sugar.

I was surprised by how much sugar people put in their lemon balm tea, so I tried to cut it back a bit. Still turned out to be pretty sweet though!

First get your lemon balm washed up and strip the leaves off. You can put the stems in too, but you gotta get them to a size that will fit your container. Since this was my first attempt I only wanted to make a couple of servings, so I used my go-to Mason jars again. I added one tablespoon of honey to each jar.

Split the lemon balm into the two containers. Use your kettle to get your water hot and then pour over the combination to steep the herbs.

I let them cool a bit on the counter, then I capped them and stuck them in the fridge. Once they have cooled down, you will want to strain the lemon balm out of your tea. I used my french press, which I think I will need to use for loose leaf tea more often, though up to now I’ve used it exclusively for coffee. I feel really silly that I never thought to use it this way before!

The resulting tea was a super-sweet treat that went down nice on my hot and muggy Sunday afternoon! The only thing missing were some lemon balm tea cookies which are next on my list of things to try with the herby bounty from the garden!

Note: I have just realized this would be amazing with a little bourbon. Will let you know how the cocktail version of this tea works out!

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