Colour-wise, this is the showiest of these herbal iced teas. Its brilliant magenta hue comes from hibiscus, a plant known for its tart taste and health benefits (hibiscus tea has shown promise in lowering blood pressure in mildly hypertensive people). Strawberries curb the tang of hibiscus, especially when we take a page out of Russian tea culture and sweeten this tea with jam.
Choose jam naturally sweetened with agave or juice rather than refined sugar.
When you make a pot of hot tea or prep fruit for fruit salad, make a habit of setting aside a little tea or a few pieces of fruit to freeze as ice cubes so you’ve always got gorgeous ice on hand.
If you want fruit or other solids to rest in the centre of a cube, fill the ice cube tray only halfway with water or tea, add the fruit pieces, and freeze. Then fill the remainder of the tray with liquid and freeze again.
1/4 cup (60 mL) dried strawberries
4 hibiscus teabags, or 4 tsp (20 mL) dried hibiscus calyces in tea ball
2 Tbsp (30 mL) no-sugar-added strawberry jam, plus extra 2 Tbsp (30 mL) (optional)
1/2 cup (125 mL) nut milk of choice
Edible pink flower petals (pansies and violets are options)
2 fresh strawberries, washed and sliced
Bring 4 1/2 cups (1.12 L) water to boil over high heat. Add a splash of boiled water to jug or jar that holds at least 4 cups (1 L), swirl around, and pour down drain.
Place dried strawberries and hibiscus in jug or jar and pour remaining water over them. Steep for 5 minutes, then remove hibiscus. Leave strawberries in tea.
Chill tea in refrigerator for 3 to 8 hours.
To create creamy ice, blend nut milk and 2 Tbsp (30 mL) strawberry jam together in blender. Pour into ice cube tray and freeze.
Serve chilled tea over ice. Garnish with edible flower petals and slices of fresh strawberry.
Blend 1/2 cup (125 mL) hot tea with 2 Tbsp (30 mL) strawberry jam in blender until smooth and return liquid to rest of tea to chill.