Herbal Tea Blending Masterclass Blog Posts

Spearmint Essence Recipe

The easiest way to extract flavour from herbs and spices and to create a shelf-stable product, is to use alcohol.  Alcohol is both a very effective a solvent and preserving agent. 

To create an essence, choose your alcohol from vodka, being the most commonly used, or Bacardi, which has a slight vanilla flavour or another spirit, then select your herb and add it to the alcohol and allow it to steep for anywhere from a few days to weeks or months.

Making vanilla essence using Bacardi is quick and easy. Fill a small jar or bottle with Bacardi, e.g. an old maple syrup bottle is good.  For a bottle of that size you will need to add two vanilla pods that you have cut open and scrapped the seeds from.  Add the pods and the seeds to the bottle, shake and allow to steep in your pantry for a month or two before using.  Leave the pods in the bottle and as you near the bottom of the bottle, top it up again with Bacardi and add a new pod.  I usually have three or...

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Blue Butterfly Pea Curacao Syrup Recipe

This is a homemade non-alcoholic version of blue curacao using the blue butterfly pea flowers to create the blue-purple colour.  It is lightly-spiced and delicious.  Use the syrup to create interesting alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages. 

As the syrup is heavier than most other beverages, it will sink to the bottom of the glass when added to juice or soda.  It is best to add the syrup to the glass first, then add ice, and slowly add your other beverage on top to create a layered effect.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon pieces (finely cut)
  • 4 whole cloves
  • Dried zest of 4 small oranges
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 heaped tablespoons blue butterfly pea flowers

METHOD

  1. Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  2. Simmer for approximately 5-10 minutes (the longer it simmers, the thicker the syrup will become)
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  4. Strain and pour into a sterlised bottle.  Store in the refrigerator for...
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Lemon Verbena & Lemon Syrup Recipe

This recipe is a delicious, quick and easy syrup that can be made into a non-alcoholic drink with the addition of soda water or created as an alcoholic beverage with the addition of both soda water and gin or vodka.

INGREDIENTS

  • 175ml lemon juice (from approximately 2 large Meyer lemons)
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of lemon verbena whole leaf tea
  • 1 cup of sugar

 

METHOD

  1. Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  2. Simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  4. Strain into a sterilised bottle and store in the refrigerator for up to one week.

If you live in New Zealand, visit our website: www.NewZealandHerbalBrew.co.nz to purchase certified organic herbal teas and see more herbal recipes: https://newzealandherbalbrew.co.nz/lemon-verbena-lemon-syrup/

To purchase lemon verbena tea: https://newzealandherbalbrew.co.nz/product/lemon-verbena-whole-leaf-tea/

 

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Spearmint & Lime Mojito Syrup Recipe

Using spearmint tea, it is easy to create a delicious mojito-style of syrup that can be added to soda water to create a non-alcoholic beverage or made with the addition of white rum for a classic mojito.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 200ml lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon spearmint tea
  • 1 cup of sugar

 

METHOD

  1. Place add ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. 
  2. Simmer for approximately 5 minutes, then remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3. Strain into a sterilised bottle and store in the refrigerator for up to one week.
  4. To remove the fine particulate matter from the tea, strain through a cheese cloth or fine tea strainer.

If you live in New Zealand, visit our website: www.NewZealandHerbalBrew.co.nz to purchase certified organic herbal teas and see more herbal recipes: https://newzealandherbalbrew.co.nz/spearmint-lime-mojito-syrup/

To purchase Spearmint Tea: https://newzealandherbalbrew.co.nz/product/spearmint-tea/

 

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Decorating Baking With Dried & Fresh Edible Flowers

herbal recipes Jul 04, 2022

One of the simplest and very vibrant ways to decorate your baking is with dried and fresh edible flowers.  Using flowers such as:

  •  rose
  • lavender
  • cornflower
  • elder flower
  • hibiscus
  • fennel or dill flowers
  • red clover
  • borage
  • dandelion
  • viola
  • nasturtium are among many of the edible flowers readily available. 

Try colouring your icing with different colours to enhance the flowers or petals.  Using a combination of fresh and dried flowers, along with a crunchy component such as chopped nuts or coconut flakes, crushed meringue, crushed freeze-dried fruit or shards of toffee brittle can also add interest to your baking decorations.

If foraging for fresh edible flowers from your garden, always ensure correct plant identification first before using the flowers in food preparation.

Certified organic dried rose buds in pink and yellow, dried cornflowers, hibiscus and elder flowers are available via our online store. 

If you live in New Zealand, visit our website: ...

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Herbal Shortbread Recipe

herbal recipes Jul 04, 2022

Based on the shortbread recipe from the 1986 version of The Edmonds Cookbook, the possibilities for shortbread flavour creations are endless by adding herbs (fresh or dried), spices, nuts, seeds, peppermint candy canes or other boiled lollies.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 225g butter
  • 125g icing sugar
  • 125g cornflour
  • 220g flour.

 VARIATIONS:  

  1. Elderflower: 7g of dried and ground elderflowers.  
  2. Rose & Blackcurrant: 3g of dried and ground roses (calyxes removed) and 5g of blackcurrant powder.  
  3. Hibiscus & Orange: 6g dried and ground hibiscus flowers (hibiscus sabdariffa) and 1 teaspoon of fresh orange zest.  
  4. Spearmint: 3g of dried and ground spearmint.  These are really lovely plain, but also very tasty sandwiched together with spearmint icing using fresh or dried spearmint or spearmint essence.  
  5. Pistachio & Lime: 35g chopped pistachio nuts and 1 teaspoon of fresh lime zest (these are great iced with...
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Elderberry Syrup Recipe

Elderberry syrup is an ancient and traditional remedy, most commonly used to assist with coughs and colds. Elderberries are tiny, dark burgundy-coloured berries that are sour in taste and contain many nutrients, in particular, high levels of antioxidants.  Elder trees grow well in Auckland and can be propagated from cuttings.  The flowers are often used to make cordial or wine and are typically ready in early-mid summer, with the berries being ripe in mid-late summer.  Trees will often contain both flowers and berries at the same time.

 Elderberry syrup can be taken by the teaspoonful daily as a tonic or at the onset of a cough or cold several times a day, or mixed with chilled carbonated water to make a soda drink.

 INGREDIENTS:  

  • ½ cup elderberries (dried)

  • 2 cups water

  • approximately 1 cup of honey

  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon ginger

  • 2 cloves

 

METHOD:...

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Elderberry Jellies Recipe (Vegan)

herbal recipes Jul 04, 2022

This is a delicious recipe using elderberries and roses in their dried form.  Any kind of your favourite herbs or fruits could be used instead and you can change up the liquid component to plain water or even wine.  The amount of agar agar used, creates a firm-textured jelly.  If you prefer something a little softer to serve as a dessert rather than as sweets, try using a lesser amount.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup dried elderberries
  • ¼ cup dried roses
  • 1 ½ cups of sweetened fruit juice (I used feijoa syrup leftover from bottling feijoas which was a 1:2 ratio of sugar to water.  You can also use water and add 2/3 to ¾ cup of sugar or honey)
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh lime juice (or any citrus)
  • 1 tablespoon of agar agar.

Method:

  1. Place the fruit juice, elderberries, dried roses, lime juice and whole cloves into a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  2. Simmer for 10 minutes, then remove from heat and strain.  Use the back of a spoon to...
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Hibiscus Grenadine Recipe

This is a very simple yet delicious and versatile recipe with a very vibrant colour.   This is great for use in both non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages, and is also excellent for sweetening sour apples in apple crumbles or stewed apples, giving them a lovely pink colour.

A healthier, less shelf-stable version could be made using fresh or dried stevia, although it will not thicken to a syrup and would require a thickening agent such as agar agar or corn flour.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2/3 cup pomegranate seeds (approx. 1 medium fruit or 1 packet of pre-packaged seeds)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon orange zest (juice the oranges and use as the orange juice part of the drink)
  • 1/8 cup Hibiscus flower tea
  • 1/2 cup water

METHOD

  1. Bring everything to a boil in a saucepan and allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes to thicken the syrup a little.  The longer the syrup cooks for, the thicker it will become.
  2. Remove from heat and allow to cool before straining into a clean vessel.
  3. Store in the...
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Hibiscus & Orange Syrup With Baked Pears

herbal recipes Jul 03, 2022

Delicious is an understatement for this dessert.  The Hibiscus & Orange Syrup can lend itself to many different desserts and perhaps even a chicken dish.

Ingredients – Syrup

  • 1 teaspoon Hibiscus Flower Tea
  • Zest and juice of a small orange
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 3 teaspoons corn flour to thicken the syrup
  • 1 cup boiled water

Method – Syrup

  1. Make the hibiscus tea by infusing the flowers in the boiled water for 5 minutes.
  2. Strain and add to a small pot.
  3. Add the orange zest and juice, the maple syrup and cloves and bring to the boil.
  4. Turn down the heat.  Mix the cornflower with a small amount of water to make a runny paste, then add it to the pot stirring constantly.
  5. Continue stirring until the mixture thickens and becomes clear.
  6. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Ingredients – Baked Pears
  • 4 ripe pears, peeled
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/4 cup chopped dates
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Method – Baked Pears

  1. Carefully remove the core...
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