I think I’ve made it pretty clear in previous posts that I LOVE vanilla. I also have made mention that Dana is the nicer sister. Because Dana is the nicer sister, happens to be a really good gift giver, and is well aware of my obsession with vanilla, she got me an entire recipe book devoted to vanilla for Christmas last year. You also may remember that she made me like a million different kinds of vanilla extract, vanilla powder, vanilla sugar, and gave me a bunch of vanilla beans. Well, the other day, when I had the whole weekend to myself, I busted out that book and decided to take a look through it again. A whole bunch of things stood out, like a vanilla mojito and this vanilla herbal iced tea. Because it was a hot weekend in the summer I decided to try making the tea and because I was too impatient to make vanilla rum needed for the mojito.
This recipe is really pretty easy, and also does happen to take a bit of time, something I did not exactly plan on…typical. I happen to already love herbal tea and the idea of adding the smooth creaminess of the vanilla seemed like it would be really good, sort of like drinking a berry pie. I was pretty close, it did turn out really sweet and delicious. I think next time I make it I will do half herbal tea and half black tea, that way it will tone down the sweetness and add some caffeine-win!
Here’s what you need:
(you could use normal sugar, I just love my vanilla sugar)
So the part that makes it vanilla herbal tea is vanilla simple syrup, also the part that takes a lot of time that I didn’t realize. Apparently, you need to let the simple syrup sit for a day and steep. So, I recommend starting here.
Simple syrup is just like it sounds, simple: bring the sugar and water to boil in a small saucepan, gently stirring. When the mixture turns clear, that means that all the sugar has dissolved, now remove the pan from heat and let it cool for about 10 minutes.
Split the vanilla bean and put it into a heat proof container with a lid. I used a mason jar because mason jars fit this description and are adorable. Put the cover on and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 day. That’s all it takes!
You’ll see some vanilla flecks (called caviar…) floating around, which is totally okay. Look at how tasty it looks with the vanilla bean, liquid heaven in a mason jar.
Now time to make the tea. You can use whatever kind of tea you like, I happened to choose Celestial Seasonings herbal tea, true blueberry. Celestial Seasonings is my favorite because of the cute artwork on their boxes.
Start by boiling 4 cups of water in a tea kettle. My yellow Cuisinart kettle makes my heart happy (apparently they don’t make it anymore). When your tea kettle screams at you, put 4 tea bags and a split vanilla bean inside and close the lid again. Let this sit for 30 minutes. You don’t really need a tea kettle, you could just boil water in anything that is heat proof with a lid.
Next, take the vanilla bean out and scrape any leftover caviar into the tea. Then pour the tea through a strainer into a heat proof pitcher.
Put the pitcher in the fridge until its chilled, about 2 hours.
Pour the tea over a glass with ice and add the simple syrup until it is sweetened to your liking. I think I probably used a tablespoon of the syrup. I also added blueberries, because why not?
Now just sip and enjoy.
The nice thing about the vanilla simple syrup is that it keeps for a long time in the fridge and can be used to sweeten anything, I like to use it in my iced coffee. You could even use it in normal coffee, anything you would use vanilla syrup in.
- Vanilla simple syrup:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 4 tea bags of your choice (I used blueberry flavored herbal tea)
- 4 cups water
- ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- To make the simple syrup, combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan
- Bring to boil, stirring gently
- Boil until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is clear, remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes
- Put the vanilla bean into a heatproof jar with a lid, pour the sugar water into the jar
- Put the lid on and let it steep in the fridge for 1 day
- To make the tea, bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a tea kettle
- Add the tea bags and the vanilla bean to the kettle, put the lid back on, and let sit for 30 minutes.
- Take the vanilla bean out, scrape any leftover caviar into the tea
- Pour the tea through a strainer into a heat proof pitcher
- Put the pitcher in the fridge until chilled, about 2 hours
- Pour the tea into a glass with ice and sweeten with the vanilla simple syrup