Remember how I said I was getting into drinks?

Hibiscus, lemongrass, Basil and Honey Sweet Iced Tea | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Yeah, well I really was not kidding, and this sweet tea is the reason why. It’s pretty much an antioxidant, flavor packed, energizing sweet tea. And I mean, the color isn’t so bad either. I think I get a boost of energy from just looking at it.

Gosh, I love this pretty ruby-red color. Color like this in food…naturally, just makes me ecstatic. No really.

Also, hibiscus is positively a new favorite ingredient. Like oh my gosh, such a good flavor! And just cause I feel like a few of you may be wondering where you buy hibiscus, I purchased a giant bag of dried hibiscus flowers from Amazon (because I am clearly their number one customer) and I now have so many hibiscus recipes running through my head…obviously summertime themed because that is just where my head is at these days.

Hibiscus, lemongrass, Basil and Honey Sweet Iced Tea | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

So where to start today?? Hmm, well, I guess let’s follow-up on yesterday’s chat about the horses. The horse dude, Mike, stopped over to look at the property on Wednesday and chat about details and such. Of course, when he stopped by, I was outside my house/barn/tiny home in my Lululemon tights, with my thick knee socks (which I was only wearing because I was hiking earlier, and with all the mud, tall thick socks are currently required) and a pair bright green sneakers looking like a total freak, taking photos of food in the ONE patch of green grass that finely decided to surface this week.

So it’s me, this Mike dude and my neighbor Vern, who is in the middle of doing some outside work around the barn, just standing over my plate of food looking at each other… talking horses. Then the questions start “so what you doing here”? UGH. Time to explain the awkwardness of what it is exactly that I do.

Hibiscus, lemongrass, Basil and Honey Sweet Iced Tea | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

So I explain (lately I have just been saying that I am a recipe developer/food photographer to make things understandable). That was fun – not. And then it comes,”so wait, you do this, as like a career?”  Yes, I do. Next one, “but wait, how old are you”? Again, UGH. All this time, my neighbor Vern is just sitting there laughing, probably because he asked all the same questions when he first meet me and discovered that I cook all day, spend hours working on photos and then write about it all at night.

And yeah, all this chatting is going on over my pretty set up of food that was now getting cold and gross. Enter giant sad face on me. Plus, I pretty much felt like the biggest dork standing, hovered over food with my hair up in a super messy bun and crazy person outfit. I promise, I don’t always wear such bright colors, it was just on odd day for me.

Hibiscus, lemongrass, Basil and Honey Sweet Iced Tea | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Hibiscus, lemongrass, Basil and Honey Sweet Iced Tea | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Finally, my dad appears and gets me off the hook. He breaks up our little pow wow, and he and Mike go off to talk details. Luckily Vern’s, gotten to know me and took no offense. Sadly, I couldn’t save the food from looking, well, cold, so a re-shoot is in order…which is actually OK because it’s a delicious recipe.

AND the horse talk apparently went well. So double fingers crossed.

Hibiscus, lemongrass, Basil and Honey Sweet Iced Tea | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Since we are on the subject of horses I feel like I should mention that this sweet tea is totally southern, horse-farm approved. Or well, I think it should be anyway.

And speaking of all things southern, I am on a HUGE southern food kick (which you will discover real soon). I am thinking that this is due to the fact that when I think of summer, my mind goes south. Sweet tea, peaches and fried chicken (with a side of corn bread…of course). Maybe it is obvious, but I semi wish I could spend a summer in a southern state. Like bring on the heat, humidity and freshly picked, sun-ripened Georgia peaches.

YES.

Hibiscus, lemongrass, Basil and Honey Sweet Iced Tea | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Anyway, my point in all of this babble is, one, I’m very excited for the possibility of horses coming to the family farm (and the goats this weekend!!) and two, this sweet tea is amazing. I hope it’s giving off major summertime vibes because that is what I’m going for (even though it’s May…but Memorial Day is so close…just getting you all prepared).

The tea is actually beyond easy to make and unlike the sweet tea you get at the drive-through, this one is actually packed full of healthy things for our bodies. Apparently, I am on a health kick this week too. You saw these bars, right? And this bowl? And this pasta?

Hibiscus, lemongrass, Basil and Honey Sweet Iced Tea | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

SO. This tea is a blend of hibiscus, lemongrass, a hint of lime and basil. It is honey sweetened without actually having to add any processed sugar. Yeah!!

Hibiscus, lemongrass, Basil and Honey Sweet Iced Tea | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Hibiscus, lemongrass, Basil and Honey Sweet Iced Tea | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

It’s still perfectly sweet, but yet incredibly refreshing! Oh, and I made some super fun ice cubes too with edible flowers. All you do is add some edible flowers to an ice-cube tray and pour water over them, freeze and done! Beautiful ice cubes, that make your drink just that much more fun. Seriously, the ice cubes and their pretty red color (from the dried hibiscus flowers) probably made my day. Like I was jumping out of my skin excited about them.

Hibiscus, lemongrass, Basil and Honey Sweet Iced Tea | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Clearly I had way too much fun with this post, BUT it’s just a fun, healthy and refreshing late spring/summertime drink. Hip, hip, hooray!!!

Hibiscus, lemongrass, Basil and Honey Sweet Iced Tea | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Hibiscus, lemongrass and Basil Honey Sweet Iced Tea.

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Total time: 25 minutes + time to chill

Yields: MAKES ABOUT 1 1/2 QUARTS

Ingredients

  • 5 cups water
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, thinly sliced, plus more stalks for serving*
  • 1/4 cup honey, or more to taste (may sub coconut sugar or maple syrup for vegan version)
  • 1/2 cup dried hibiscus flowers**
  • 3/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice, plus lime slices for serving

Instructions

Bring the water to a boil in a medium size pot. Remove from the heat and add the lemongrass, honey, hibiscus flowers and basil leaves. Cover and let steep for 20 minutes. Strain into a pitcher and discard the used lemongrass, hibiscus flowers and basil.

Stir in the lime juice and taste, if needed add more honey. Chill until cold. Serve over ice with a fresh lemongrass stalk, basil and lime. Enjoy!

*If your grocery store does not have fresh lemongrass, 1 tablespoon of lemongrass paste (which can be found in the produce section of most grocery stores) can be used in its place.

**I buy my dried hibiscus from [Amazon | http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DC3NVUI/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1].

***To make the edible flower ice cubes, simply add a variety of edible flowers to an ice cube tray and pour water over them. Freeze and use a s a fresh addition to a glass of water or use in this tea!

Hibiscus, lemongrass, Basil and Honey Sweet Iced Tea | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Lesson to takeaway from this post: Make this hibiscus, lemongrass, basil and honey sweet iced tea this weekend and all will be good with the world.

PS. This may just be my healthiest, most colorful Friday post to date. Cool!

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