With the summer heat, it’s worth the effort to make some tasty, nutritive drinks on hand to quench thirst and provide nourishment.
I especially enjoy having shrubs on hand, because as much as I love coconut water as an electrolyte and thirst-quencher, I can’t seem to enjoy single-use cans and bottles anymore knowing that recycled items are more and more likely to end in the land-fill! The vinegar in shrubs is a great alternative as an electrolyte, especially when combined with mineral-rich herbs like oat straw and nettle.
These are some of my favorite potions from this summer that I hope you will enjoy, too.
Take the liberty to experiment with these recipes and discover your own favorite combinations!
Lastly, I wanted to share something I wished I’d known earlier in my herbal practice – many caffeine-free herbs are diuretic! Nettle, mint, dandelion – they help move the water OUT of your body, which can be therapeutic, but they can also dry out your system if tea is all that you drink. So just a reminder, whatever time of year, don’t drink teas exclusively and get that water down!
Cherry Mint Cooler
This is a delicious, naturally sweet tea with mineral-rich nettles
1 cup fresh or frozen cherries
1 cup dried mint (or 1 cup freshly chopped)
1 cup dried nettle (or 1 cup freshly chopped)
4 cups water
Honey to taste
-In a saucepan, bring water and cherries to a gentle boil, and let simmer for 15 -20 minutes
-Strain cherries, put remaining water back in saucepan (with heat off), and add the herbs.
-Strain herbs, add honey to taste
-Drink over ice or chill in the refrigerator and serve
Tulsi Berry Shrub
Shrubs are so nutritive and delicious, they make great mocktails that everyone can enjoy
4 oz local honey (or more, depending on preference)
2 oz apple cider vinegar
2 oz balsamic vinegar
4 oz chopped seasonal berries (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries)
4 oz dried tulsi (a little more if fresh, a little less if dried)
1 tablespoon gin
Method: Mix all ingredients in bowl, apply gentle heat if needed to soften the honey.
Put in a glass jar (about a quart size), keep in the refrigerator and shake daily. Strain after 2-3 weeks. Then add
Rachel’s Summer Tea Blend
I make a lot of this tea and friends often ask me for the recipe. Alfalfa, nettle, and oat straw help make it rich in minerals and tonifying for the nervous system; red rooibos gives it a robust flavor rich in antioxidants; tulsi is a lovely adaptogen, and calendula makes it beautiful and it’s an easy way to get my garden into my tea! I usually blend the dried herbs in a quart-size jar so it’s easy to make a cup (or several) at a time.
3 tablespoons nettle
3 tablespoons alfalfa
3 tablespoons oatstraw
2 tablespoons rooibos
1 tablespoons tulsi
A sprinkling of calendula blossoms
1 teaspoon stevia (dried leaf, not processed powder))
Method: Mix ingredients well, and use 1 tablespoon for each 8 oz of tea desired. Let