Sun Tea is a fun and easy way to use fresh herbs and benefit from all the wonderful qualities and flavors they have to offer.
How to Make Sun Tea
There are no hard and fast rules for making Sun Tea; simply pick a few handfuls of your favorite herbs and wash to remove any dirt or bugs:
Place into a large jar and fill with fresh water. Seal and leave to sit in a sunny spot (preferably out of the way of playing children or running dogs) for 4 to 6 hours:
Once sufficiently steeped (the water has darkened in color and you are happy with the flavor), strain the herbs out and sweeten with honey (or sugar) if desired. For an extra special touch, serve the tea with rose petal ice cubes.
Which herbs should I use to make Sun Tea?
- Any herb you enjoy the flavor of!
- A mix of mint; such as: peppermint, applemint, and spearmint.
- A mix of lemon; such as: lemon balm, lemon verbena, lemon catnip, and lemon basil.
- Chamomile and mint.
- Your favorite herbal tea bags. Use approximately 8 tea bags per gallon of water. Also, feel free to add a handful of a complimentary herb to the brew.
- The sun tea pictured was made with the following combination of herbs (recipe from Herbal Treasures by Phyllis V. Shaundys): Handful each of applemint, peppermint, lemon balm, and bee balm leaves and flowers to one gallon of water.
- The follow two articles have some excellent information and recipes for making Sun Tea with herbs: Herbal Sun Teas and Simple Syrups and Summer Herbal Iced Tea
If the tea is too strong, simply dilute with extra water.
Be sure to use clean jars and utensils to avoid any risk of bacterial growth. Glass jars are best.
Add the sweeteners at the end. Then you can actually taste to see how much sweetener is needed, if any. You will also avoid attracting ants to your brewing tea!
Teas can be used as a base for other drinks such as smoothies or punch.
Experiment with flavors by adding juice or sparkling water for a special treat.
Making Sun tea is a fun activity to do with children since they can be involved from start to finish. Make it into an educational project by discussing which herbs and flowers are edible and what benefits each one has.
Allow them to gather the herbs and be sure they smell each one as you discuss it. Help them rinse off any bugs or dirt and place everything in the jar.
Children will enjoy seeing the water change color. It is also fun to taste the plain water before pouring it into the jar then taste the brewed tea at the end, to see how it has changed.
It is wonderful to start this process early in the day and enjoy the fruits of your labor with dinner!
Do you make sun tea? If so, what are your favorite herbs to use?
Stacy is wife to a preacher and mom to three busy children. She strives to live a healthy, happy life with God at the helm. Stacy writes about finding peace and joy at home, on her blog: Delighting in the Days.