Saturday, August 7, 2010

Lemon Herb Tisane with an Elderflower "Kick"--A Restorative Simple Saturday Sipper

You know those crazy weeks where you feel like you barely have a moment to breathe? Those are the kind of weeks that need to end with a drink that is delicious, calming, and restorative to the body and the spirit. Spending a few minutes outside I could smell the lemon as the breeze blew through my container herb garden on the lanai. I decided to harvest a few of my lemony herbs (lemon thyme, lemon verbena and lemon balm) and make a tisane--basically an infusion of herbs and spices that is consumed like tea but does not contain actual tea leaves.

I looked on the internet for inspiration and found a recipe for a Lemon Verbena Tisane at a site that is always full of good ideas
The Kitchn by Apartment Therapy. The best idea yet--make the tisane and add a touch of St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur to it. Beings as I bought a bottle a few months ago and said bottle is very large, I am always looking for ways to use it. Instead of just verbena, I used all three herbs for my version: a Lemon Herb Tisane with an Elderflower "Kick" which turned out to be the perfect Simple Saturday Sipper.

In addition to tasting great when added into all kinds of sweet and savory dishes, all three herbs have been used for centuries as medicinal cures:

Lemon Thyme: used to relieve muscle spasms, support the immune system, ease digestion, relieve asthma, ease a tight chest and relieve coughing, promotes relaxation. It is said to soothe laryngitis and gastritis and contain anti-aging properties.

Lemon Verbena: used to treat fever, congestion, asthma, ease intestinal problems, reduce stress and insomnia, and depression. It is said to aid digestion, help with metabolism and have a mild, calming effect on the nerves.

Lemon Balm: used to treat colds and flu, lower blood pressure, relieve spasms in the digestive tract, reduce depression and calm anxiety. Fresh leaves are used to soothe insect bites and heal wounds. Thought to have antibacterial and antiviral properties.

Lemon Herb Tisane
adapted from Apartment Therapy: The Kitchn

To make a tisane:

Pick 1-2 handfuls leaves of a single herb or a mixture. I used lemon thyme, lemon verbena, and lemon balm lemon balm leaves. You can include the stems, too. Wash leaves gently and place them in a teapot or tea press.

Heat water to nearly boiling. (Boiling water will over-steep and cook the delicate leaves and give a grassy taste.) The water should be about the same temperature as you would use for French press coffee, or for green tea.

Let steep for 5-7 minutes before drinking, but leave the herbs in. They will make it stronger as they sit, but not unpleasantly so.

Drink as-is or for a special treat "or fancier nightcap" as The Kitchn says, add an ounce of St, Germain Elderflower Liqueur. Enjoy!

Notes/Results: Perfectly lemony and herbal with the elderflower liqueur adding a light floral taste to the mix that is very pleasing. The tisane is also good on its own but the liqueur really enhanced the flavor. Although I enjoyed it warm after dinner, I think it would also be quite delicious iced. I will definitely make this again. You could see the light yellow-green tisane better in a clear cup but sometimes a girl needs to feel special and a little dainty and needs to use the cute little teacups she bought at a little eco-friendly boutique. ;-)

Happy Saturday!


  1. Unfortunately my weeks like that usually end with a stiff rum and coke. Stiff.

    This is probably the better option!

  2. This sounds fabulous, Deb. I love the lemony trio...and the addition of the liqueur to make it an extra-special restorative ;) And yes, sometimes a girls GOT to have an adorable tea service like that! Love it!

  3. Sounds delightful! I really need to grow lemon verbena!

  4. Tea might not always do the trick, but I get the idea :-). It looks wonderful, Deb and it definitely is more healthy than my choice. I hope you have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  5. Joanne--sometimes the rum & coke works even better--it just wasn't that bad of a week. ;-)

    girlichef--thanks! ;-) I love lemon.

    Pam--it seems to grow really well. I have not killed it yet anyway and that is saying a lot lol!

    Mary--well tea with a little kick helps and feels more virtuous too lol! ;-)

    Kat--thanks! I had to buy a couple of them--loved the color. ;-)

  6. great post with the pics of the herbs looks and smells great

  7. I love herbal teas. I need to start drinking them more though

  8. Gorgeous tea cup! And what a lovely tisane! I can imagine how relaxing it is to sit with a cup of this.

  9. Sounds wonderful, I have used lemon and mint to ease a cold.

    Great tips


  10. I have a big lemon tree but have never used a single leaf from it!Thanks for idea!!! Shall try it out today!!!


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