I’m attending a wedding celebration today and I’m in charge of bringing tea for the fête! It’s not the first time I’m in charge of bringing large amounts of tea for a party; the blessed hazards of being an herbalist. :)
My favorite tea right now is a base of hibiscus and fresh mint. I then add lots of whatever else is in season (or whatever I have dried).
In today’s tea blend, in addition to the mint and hibiscus, I added a handful each of dried hawthorn leaf and flower, red clover flowers, lady’s mantle leaves and flowers, chrysanthemum flowers and rose buds. I also added some fresh thyme. Normally I like adding just a bit of fresh lavender but mine is still recovering from the winter.
Here are some other ideas for some herbs you can use:
I would use a mixture of these different herbs rather than a lot of a particular herb. This gives the tea a nice flavor instead of being too strong with one particular flavor. If you need a more precise recipe, take a look at this one.
The following recipe is very forgiving - I rarely measure anymore but it’s good to do that at first to get an idea of proportions. I’ve learned over the years that people at parties enjoy lovely tasting tea - not so much the medicinal tasting tea.
When I make really large batches of tea, I like to make a really strong tea that I then dilute later with water. This way I don’t have to use as much energy to heat all that water plus it’s easier to strain off a couple of quarts rather than a couple gallons.
For today’s party I am bringing one batch of tea in an iced beverage cooler. If we run out I’ll have another half gallon mason jar filled with tea concentrate so that I can easily make more.
I also make a version of this recipe all summer long - but in smaller amounts. You can see a version of that here. https://learningherbs.com/remedies-recipes/how-to-make-hibiscus-tea/
Boil two quarts of water in a large soup pot. Turn off the heat. Add the herbs. Stir well and let steep, covered, for 15 minutes.
Strain. Add honey while still warm and stir until dissolved.
Put in a 3 gallon iced beverage cooler. Add the remaining 7 quarts cold water to fill 3/4 of the container.
Add ice at the event.
This makes approximately 3 gallons of tea (including the ice).
Rosalee is an herbalist and author of the bestselling book Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients Into Foods & Remedies That Heal. She's a registered herbalist with the American Herbalist Guild and the Education Director for LearningHerbs. Read about how Rosalee went from having a terminal illness to being a bestselling author in her full story here.