The Fresh Floral Ingredient You Should Be Adding To Your Iced Tea

Edible flowers are a fun and versatile ingredient to get familiar with. They make for a gorgeous garnish and can be transformed into delicious side dishes like stuffed squash blossoms. Certain types of edible flowers, like chamomile, can also be made into drinks. If you want to explore new flavors of iced tea as the hot weather stretches on, we recommend adding chamomile to your list for a smooth and soothing drinking experience.

Chamomile is a small white flower with a yellow center. It has long been valued as an ingredient with both culinary and health benefits, as it is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that are believed to help with sleep and aid digestion. While fresh chamomile flowers can be eaten in or on top of many dishes, they are far more frequently enjoyed in beverages. They impart a mild, sweet taste and aroma to teas, liquors, and other drinks when incorporated, and are often said to smell reminiscent of apples. They are the perfect choice for tea drinkers who prefer a more delicate flavor or for those who are seeking a caffeine-free tea.

How to brew chamomile iced tea

Since chamomile is such a popular ingredient, it can be found in its dried form in most grocery stores and tea shops alongside other prepared teas. If you would prefer to use fresh chamomile flowers in your tea, you will likely have to purchase a whole plant from a florist or nursery. To make the tea, place your chamomile in a mug and pour in hot water. Regardless of format, chamomile steeps best in water that is just shy of boiling, around 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Brew it for just a few minutes until the desired strength is achieved. Remove your tea bag — or strain out the loose flowers, if opting for fresh — then cool in the fridge or pour over ice.

Chamomile iced tea pairs well with a variety of flavors thanks to its simple flavor. Combine it with other herbal teas like mint or ginger to balance their intensity and make the taste more nuanced. Add a splash of lemonade for a lightly floral Arnold Palmer, or spike your glass with a bit of gin and honey to make a fresh and sophisticated cocktail.