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52 Weeks Fresh: Tisanes (Herbs and Flowers, Sun and Moon)

As tempting as it is to save all of the garden’s bounty for meals, the herbs and flowers coming into bloom now are just as good in the glass. Lavender, peppermint, lemon and lemon balm can each be used to make great simple syrups for cocktails, like lavender in a mojito garnished with lavender sprig and mint. The syrups are great with soda water for homemade spritzers, too. But one of the easiest, most-refreshing drinks is an iced tisane (like iced tea, but without tea).

Depending on your favorite flavors, the best add-ins can be peppermint, lavender, chamomile and lemon verbena.

Try mixing chamomile and lavender flowers together in a glass container filled with cold water. The measurements are pretty flexible, but I use a 2-quart jug and measure the herbs by packing my palm with leaves and flowers, then letting them loose in the water.

Like sun tea, these are best steeped outside for about six sunny hours (or overnight during a full moon). They’re just as pretty as they are tasty. Simply strain the liquid through a sieve into a fresh jar before refrigerating. Tisanes keep for two weeks and are great on their own, served with flavored ice or mixed with lemonade.

PRODUCE REPORT: Prune your basil plants to avoid flowers developing and to keep the leaf production high. Tomatoes are flowering. Quinoa is about 1 foot tall now.

EAT WITH THE SEASON: It’s time for fried squash blossoms. Here is a recipe from Debi and Gabriele.


Comments (24)

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  2. Brian David Sisco posted 07/12/2014

    Wow. I like the smell of lavender, but I didn't know you could taste it. Nice and light flavor for a cool drink.

  3. liana posted 07/12/2014

    Great post! Beautiful photos. Those drinks sound delicious and refreshing. Thanks Michael!

  4. Judy. posted 07/12/2014

    Luv your ideas!!

  5. Cristin posted 07/12/2014

    Love it! They look so pretty in the glasses with the ice and flowers. Jim is steeping some lavender in his gin now, too. Perfect summer cocktails….

  6. linda posted 07/12/2014

    those sounds so yummy and refreshing!! thanks for recipe.

  7. Jayni Chase posted 07/13/2014

    SO creative and fun! I love these ideas for refreshing thirst quenchers! Michael is brilliant! (:

  8. Matt K posted 07/13/2014

    Another great idea! Can't wait till Wednesday when I am on a short Vacation to get my Mojito going. I think I will call it a "Mike-jito".

  9. Joe F posted 07/13/2014

    I just ate at a restaurant in Hartford called Tisane. I had no idea what it meant until now. Great ideas and can't wait to get started.

  10. Calli posted 07/14/2014

    The summer garden and summer itself is so much more fun with Michael's ideas and yummy treats from his garden and kitchen!! such fun to read and try all these fabulous ideas!

  11. Aaron posted 07/14/2014

    Perfect infusions for this weather! Now I'm curious about rosemary and thyme (maybe with peppermint?) tisane…

  12. Ana Simone posted 07/15/2014

    Whattttt? You mean something this awesome is this easy? Amazing! Can't wait to try!

  13. elle posted 07/15/2014

    Great ideas! Perfect for parties and impressing guests! Thanks, Michael! Also good reminder to prune the basil!

  14. Don Denne posted 07/27/2014

    i keep buying basil plants at the store so I can have it fresh all the time and they keep dying. Am I watering too much? Is that a thing? I can't wait to try these Tisanes – anything to add to a cocktail for a fresh taste is awesome!

  15. Rachel posted 07/27/2014

    Our weather has been bouncing between monsoon, and too hot to move – so I am going to give those tisanes a try!! My wild spearmint crop is going crazy, so time to go put it to use!

  16. Reids_Florists posted 10/09/2014

    So simple yet very effective. Thanks. Just so happens I have some flowers at hand because I'm a florist!

  17. IT Outsourcing Dalla posted 05/31/2015

    Great post! Beautiful photos. Those drinks sound delicious and refreshing. Thanks Michael! Thanks for sharing with us.

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    awesome, can't believe this amazing thing was easy to follow.

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