Grass is dead, but lemon grass, very pretty...

A year ago, I attended a small dinner party hosted by my friend Elena, who was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. We had a choice of several beverages, including freshly made lemon grass iced tea, which was something new to me. Sipping the light, lemony drink on a warm summer evening was totally refreshing .

Elena told me the first time she drank this tea was while she was visiting her sister in Chichirivichi, a coastal town near Caracas on the coast of the Caribbean Sea. She had gone to help her sister plant some bamboo, yucca and lemon grass.

After working half the day, they went home to rest and freshen up, but first her sister put the ingredients for some tea into a pot to simmer. After their siesta, Elena woke to find the entire house filled with a wonderful aroma. It was the tea, which her sister served in tall glasses with lots of ice.

Finding a lemon grass plant was a challenge. After a few phone calls and a trip to Home Depot, I discovered that Susan Bishop and Kathy Oliver, co-owners of My Mother's Garden, an organic herb farm in Wimauma, had a plentiful supply. Researching online, I learned you can also find lemon grass in Asian markets and at some specialty grocery stores.

The two, tiny lemon grass plants I purchased are now monstrous! I sure could use some recipe ideas, other than for tea.

Lemon Grass Iced Tea
2 or 3 stalks fresh lemon grass
2 quarts water
8 oz. hard cane sugar
2 limes

Cut lemon grass into 2-inch pieces, then place into a pot with the two quarts of water. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool, strain and add the juice of the two fresh limes. Cool in the refrigerator. Just before serving, add a splash of seltzer water or club soda and lots of ice.


Dorvi said...

I never knew you could make ice tea from lemon grass. Thanks for the info., if I hear of any recipes, I'll let you know.

Lynn Kessel said...

Thanks Dorvi!