The lemongrass iced tea you see in the photo was made from fresh lemongrass stalks. The stalks were boiled, allowed to infuse and cooled. Then, I added honey, slices of lemon and orange, and ice.
See, we stay away from powdered drinks. Not for any of the scary reasons circulating on the internet but because of a gory personal experience. When the girls were very young, around four and three years old, we were huge consumers of Tang. One day, the girls decided to mix a pitcher of juice, the pitcher tipped over, tumbled down the floor, broke into smithereens and all the juice spilled on the kitchen floor. Because I was more concerned about the broken glass, I told the girls to stay put, walked over, lifted them one after the other and deposited them several meters from the accident scene. I checked their feet and legs for splintered glass and, after I was sure that they were both unscathed, I went outside, located the mop and started cleaning up.
Between the time the juice spilled and the floor mopping, there was an interval of a few minutes. To my surprise, the area where the juice had spilled appeared bleached. And I mean bleached. The white floor was whiter and the glossy surface had turned dull. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out — there was enough acid in the powdered juice drink to bleach the floor.
We started buying less powdered juice drinks and the interval got longer and longer. It took a while to wean the girls from powdered juice drinks but, in time, we were able to exorcise all forms of powdered juices from the house — including powdered ice tea mixes.
Bruise the lemongrass stalks by lightly pounding them then cut into short pieces. Put in a pot, pour in about four cups of water, bring to the boil, simmer for a few minutes then turn off the heat. Allow the lemongrass stalks to infuse and cool.
Strain the infusion into a pitcher, add enough honey to taste, add ice, garnish with lemon and orange slices. Stir well.
Now, just so it’s clear. Lemongrass iced tea is not real tea because it does not contain tea leaves. It is an infusion or what the French call a tisane. Click here for more about tea, infusions and tisane.
The lemon and orange slices aren’t merely ornamental. The juices and aroma will get mixed with the liquid after a few minutes.