Lemon balm iced tea is the perfect, thirst-quenching beverage to break out on a hot day (when it's too early for Sangria) and doubles as a great pick-me-up. I often make a strong batch on hot days, for primarily tactical reasons - to keep husband hydrated and highly caffeinated as he does yard work.
You may be either thinking that that's a great idea, or I'm a bit of a slave-driver. I'm not denying either - nothing makes me happier then when my husband is out in the yard getting his hunny-do list accomplished, and during this time of year (spring), there's a lot of shit to do!
Now, it's not like I sit on the sidelines barking orders, or anything - I'm usually right there with him chopping and stacking wood, cutting the grass (which I actually did last weekend) and landscaping. As a matter of fact, the strenuous, manual labour is a nice break from child-minding! However, at this point in my pregnancy (6 months with our third), I do tend to sit on the side-lines a little more than usual... barking orders... and making iced tea.
Why Add Lemon Balm?
I recently started adding lemon balm to my iced tea, not only for the wonderful flavour that it adds, but also for it's calming properties. Lemon balm has been used since the Middle Ages to reduce stress and anxiety, promote sleep, improve appetite, and ease pain and discomfort from indigestion (source). Believe it or not, the caffeine-kick from the black tea, paired with the calming properties of the lemon balm, makes for a pretty lovely afternoon beverage!
How to Make Lemon Balm Iced Tea
Lemon Balm Iced Tea
Author: Modern Hippie Housewife
4 Tea Bags of Black Tea or 4 tsp Loose Leaf
1/3 - 1/2 cup Cane Sugar, Organic
3 Lemons, Organic (2 juiced, 1 sliced)
10-15 Lemon Balm Leaves
Bring approximately 6 cups of water to a boil in a pot.
Add tea bags or tea leaves, sugar and half of lemon balm leaves to boiled water.
Stir to dissolve sugar, cover and let tea steep for 7-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, fill your iced tea jug to the top with ice and add lemon juice and sliced lemon.
Strain the tea and pour over ice.
Top the jug off with cold water, add remaining lemon balm, stir and serve!
I don't specify the exact amount of water to add because it all comes down to personal preference. For a stronger, sweeter iced tea, add less water.