My dad’s half of the family drinks iced tea like it’s going out of fashion.  It is, however, very strong Lipton black tea with plenty of sugar.  So, it’s not exactly what I should drink when coming home to a hot attic after a run or bike ride.  My summer solution is very simple: Hibiscus Licorice Iced Tea.  It’s a wonderful balance between acidity and sweetness with a little depth. Replacing sugar sweetened beverages with unsweetened one is one of the easiest and healthiest diet changes you can make, and this is a great option to start you off. Explore various teas, non-sweetened seltzer, mineral water, or add a tablespoon of juice to cold water.

Hibiscus Licorice Iced Tea

2 teabags (Stassen makes it; other companies may as well)

OR

3 T dried hibiscus (food quality)
3-5 slices licorice roots
1 strip lemon zest

Pour 2 cups boiling water over the tea. Allow the teabags to soak for 10 minutes, or the licorice root and hibiscus flowers to soak for 20 minutes. Refrigerate, and serve over plenty of ice.

Enjoy and pretend you are a pharaoh! Or at a wedding, or celebrating Christmas in the Caribbean. While I was not familiar with the background, a quick peek at wikipedia just revealed that hibiscus tea is regularly drunk on special occasions on every continent except Antarctica. Check it out here.

Health impacts:

1) Rehydration is good, especially after copious perspiration.

2) Hibiscus is good for lowering blood pressure a touch, especially when drunk often.

3) Licorice is not recommended for regular consumption if you have high blood pressure. Try adding a little agave syrup instead, or drink plain hibiscus.

4) Licorice soothes for sore throats and heartburn/acid reflux/GERD.

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