How we do it: Refreshing Lemon Verbena Ice cubes

If there's one thing that you need to know about Malcolm, its that he really really really likes lemon Verbena. While he was overseas on business last year (he was gone for 2 months) I bought him his very own lemon verbena bush as a homecoming gift. He literally sniffed the leaves and absorbed the scent *weirdo alert*.

I thought I would try incorporate the lemon verbena leaves in our daily lives as it helps calm his stress levels. The most common use for the lemon verbena leaves is tea. Pop a few leaves into boiling water, add some sugar and you have some delicious tea. However, its summer and tea may not always be welcomed in the heat so I did a little experiment, which worked out superbly. 

Lemon verbena ice cubes which you can put into your cold-drink to add some summer crispness. Here's how you do it:
Malcolm's Lemon Verbena bush.
I'm not certain whether or not you can buy lemon verbena leaves at some fruit and veg stores. I suggest just buying your own bush from a nursery because then you will have an ongoing supply of leaves. I visited about 4 different nurseries before finding one which sold lemon verbena bushes . Maybe phone around to save time.

Trim a few leaves off of your bush. Rinse them under cold water to get any dirt or bugs off. Place them in an ice tray (without water). The amount of leaves you put in each ice block depends solely on your preference. Malcolm loves his cubes strong so I add 2-3 leaves per block. Try make little criss-cross X's with the leaves so that it looks prettier in your drink.

Once you have your leaves placed, pour rapidly boiling water into each block. I used boiling water so that the heat pulls the scent out into the water and when your ice cube melts in your drink, the taste and scent will be stronger. I also read somewhere that boiling water freezes clearer than cold which is a bonus!

Put your ice tray in the freezer and leave overnight. Your refreshing lemon verbena ice cubes will be ready to use in the morning!

You can add them to plain water, fruit juice and even coke. Malcolm loves these ice cubes in Oros! This ideas will surprise guests at a braai, tea party or general gathering. It cools your drink and adds a refreshing scent.

Give this idea a go and tell me what you think. Also, share pictures of your Lemon Verbena bushes with me on Twitter. I've always wondered how big they get.


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