This is my elderly French neighbour's recipe for a refreshing and popular French tisane, she drinks it almost daily as a digestif, using dried lemon verbena and mint leaves in the winter. Tisanes are popular in France, and most salons de thé serve all manner of wonderful natural tisanes and teas, with exotic herbs and spices, as well as fruit and berries. Nearly all French gardens have Lemon Verbena growing, it also grows wild on the hedgerows this far South in France, and it is added to all manner of things in the kitchen - from soups to sauces, and of course it makes a refreshing and easy drink. This can be served warm or chilled with ice. Garnish with fresh lemon verbena leaves.
- Put the fresh herbs (and lemon peel if using) in to a warm teapot. Add the boiling water.
- Allow to infuse for 5 minutes and serve warm, with sugar to taste and a slice of lemon.
- To serve chilled, remove the mint and lemon verbena sprigs and refrigerate before serving with ice cubes and fresh sprigs of lemon verbena and mint.