Alice says, ‘A tisane is a fresh tea, an infusion of fragrant herbs, or flowers or spices, in boiling water. It is a soothing a refreshing finish to a meal, is complementary to most desserts, and offers a mild alternative to coffee. Tisane can be made from such flavourings as lemon verbena, mint, lemon thyme, lemon balm, hyssop, chamomile, citrus rind and ginger – alone and in combination. The one I make most is a combination of mint and lemon verbena. It is very beautiful made in a glass teapot so you can see the brilliant green leaves… I like to use small clear tea glasses, as they do in Morocco, so the lovely pale green colour is visible.’
Fresh from the garden: your choice of fresh herbs – English mint, spearmint, peppermint, lemon verbena, chamomile flowers, lemon thyme – orange, cumquat or lemon rind – ginger, cinnamon
Recipe source: adapted from a recipe by Alice Waters in The Art of Simple Food
What to do:
- Measure the water into the saucepan and heat on high to boil.
- Wash the herbs in several changes of water and shake dry.
- Rinse the ginger, if using, and chop into thin slices, skin on.
- When the water in the saucepan is boiling, carefully drop in the herbs and pieces of ginger.
- Turn the heat off and let the tisane steep for several minutes.
- Ladle into cups or glasses to serve.
Notes: What is a tisane? What other herbal combinations can you think of?