There’s nothing better to quench your thirst on a warm day then with a chilled glass of iced tea or lemonade. There is no reason that you can’t have the best of both worlds! I frequently like to ask for an “Arnold Palmer” at restaurants, or half iced tea and half lemonade. For me it has the right balance of sweet, tangy and astringent. However some of my favorite types of tea are Jasmine and green tea because they are much more mild and aromatic, compared to the slightly stronger black tea.
Lemons are also known to really make your mouth pucker which is why limes are a nice substitute to achieve a milder sour note and have nice flavor. Putting all of those flavor elements together, I made a refreshing jasmine green iced tea limeade to give a delicate yet revitalizing beverage.
I first tried a similar drink to this jasmine green iced tea limeade recipe at one of my favorite modern Vietnamese restaurants in Costa Mesa, called East Borough. They serve some of the freshest and most flavorful spring rolls and bánh mi sandwiches on chewy crispy french baguettes (I recommend the xiu mai meatball). I ordered the jasmine limeade beverage after a pretty sweaty session of Bikram yoga, and it was heavenly! I knew that I had to make this recipe at home and now I have a pitcher ready whenever the days start to warm up and we need a quick and delicious beverage.
You can purchase the jasmine green tea bags at any of your local markets, I really like the Numi organic jasmine green tea blend. I’m a BIG fan of honey, mostly because there are so many types to choose from and they all have different flavor profiles. Plus the flavors you get from honey are much more complex and aromatic than just adding the boring granulated cane sugar. I really like Tupelo honey after being introduced to it from one of my sweetest friends (hehe), however I use a lot of Clover honey because it’s most affordable and available. The combination of delicate jasmine green tea, fresh squeezed lime juice, sweet honey and fresh mint really makes for a satisfying drink. With just 5 simple ingredients, you can have a tasty beverage whenever you like!
Green tea has received a lot of positive press for having many benefits beyond a caffeine fix. Green tea (Camellia sinesis) is made from unfermented plant leaves and contains high levels of antioxidants called polyphenols. These polyphenols in green tea called catechins, can help neutralize free radicals and may reduce and possibly prevent damage of these compounds that can change cells, damage DNA and cause cell death, contributing to the aging process. Compared to black and oolong teas, green tea has the highest polyphenol content because it is the least fermented. Generally the more fermented the tea, the less polyphenols, however the more caffeine. For example, black tea has approximately 2 to 3 times more caffeine content than green tea. There are also decaffeinated green teas available if you want the health benefits without the buzz! (Source: University of Maryland Medical Center: Green Tea)
- ½ cup fresh lime juice (about 7 limes), plus 3 limes for sliced lime garnish
- 5 cups water (2 cups boiling water, plus 3 cups cold water)
- 5 Jasmine Green Tea bags
- ½ cup honey, plus more if desired
- 15 to 20 fresh mint leaves
- Roll the limes back and forth over the counter with the palm of your hand. Cut limes in half, and juice them by hand or with a juicer; until you have about ½ cup juice. Transfer juice to a large pitcher.
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add 5 jasmine green tea bags to the boiling water, steeping for 3 minutes. Using a large spoon; gently press the tea bags against the pan to extract the tea further. Carefully remove and discard the tea bags from the saucepan. Add honey, and stir until dissolved. Pour tea and honey mixture into the pitcher, and 3 cups of additional water. Stir until well blended. Add more honey, if desired. Refrigerate 1 hour. Serve jasmine green tea limeade with ice cubes, a few lime slices and 3 fresh mint leaves in each glass.