Simple Basil Tea Recipe (Iced or Hot)

Share on pinterest
Share on facebook
Share on email

Growing basil in the garden? Learn how to make this simple basil tea recipe to use up this delicious herb. Served hot or over ice, this recipe is a life changer.

Basil iced tea in a glass with lemon wedges and fresh basil leaves.

You all know how much I love walking around the garden with my morning cup of coffee (learn how I make my coffee here), but in the afternoon when the sun gets hot, I've always got something cold in my hand. Whether that's a big glass of ice water, lemonade, or this new favorite, basil tea.

Growing basil is one of the easiest things to do in the garden. In my climate, you can sow it from seed and it will grow big and bushy without hardly any effort.

If you live in a colder climate, you'll want to start your basil seeds indoors and then transplant them outside once the threat of frost is well past.

Basil makes a great companion plant in the garden. The aromatic qualities of basil help deter pests from nightshades and once it goes to seed, the flowers are great for pollinators.

This basil tea recipe is a fantastic way to use up all the excess basil you have and give you more reasons to keep up on your pruning.

Basil Tea Benefits

Basil is a delicious herb and is known more for cooking Italian dishes or making homemade pesto than tea, but the herb itself has so many health benefits why shouldn't we enjoy more ways than one!

It's full of antioxidants and antibacterial properties and it also provides vitamin K.

Not only is basil tea absolutely delicious and refreshing to drink, but it's also very healthy! Read more about the health benefits of basil here.

A vertical shot of multiple basil varieties.

Types of Basil

It's estimated that there are between 50-150 different varieties of basil. Though not all are for culinary use, that's a lot of basil varieties!

You all know I love to try new things, so if I find a variety of something I haven't grown before, I'm likely going to try it. Because of this I have been introduced to some amazing basil varieties, many of which make for some delicious basil tea!

Here are just a handful of basil options for this homemade basil tea, but get creative and try something new!

  • Persian Basil – this is a beautiful deep purple basil that will make a slightly purple tea. It's slightly lemony with a little spiciness.
  • Genovese Basil – a lot of people get sweet basil and Genovese basil confused. They are not one and the same. Genovese basil has a stronger flavor with hints of mint and clove while also being slightly peppery.
  • Sweet Basil – this is the basil most people are familiar with. It's that classic basil flavor that's not bitter or too spicy, hence the name “sweet” basil.
  • Blue Spice Basil – similar in taste to Tusli (or holy/sacred basil), but it has more vanilla notes in it.
  • Citrus Basil – this has a very similar taste to lemon balm. It's bright and delicious. You may not need as many basil leaves when choosing this variety as it has a very strong flavor.
  • Cinnamon Basil – there are definitely some cinnamon notes to this basil, which makes for a delicious tea. I can see drying some of this basil to steep in the wintertime.

For more information on the types of basil, be sure to visit PFAF.com. Taylor likes to go to Baker Creek's website to find out the scientific name of the plant first, then she looks it up on Plants for a Future's website. There you can find out tips for growing as well as the medicinal rating of the plant, whether it's edible, and uses.

Basil leaves on a wooden cutting board.

Ingredients Needed

  • Basil – Any basil will do. As you can see, we made four different varieties because, if you know me at all, you know I love growing obscure varieties of plants and herbs.
  • Water – Good old-fashioned water for boiling here! Of course, if you have a water filter, that's always best, but certainly not necessary.
  • Honey – Local raw honey is always my preference when sweetening tea. There are so many benefits of local raw honey, but it can get expensive to buy. Pro Tip: If you can find a local source, sometimes they'll sell honey by the five-gallon bucket and you'll save a lot of money over buying it by the quart jar at the grocery store or Farmer's Market.
  • Lemon Juice – Fresh lemon juice makes basil tea extremely refreshing.

A woman pouring basil tea into a large jar.

How to Make Basil Tea

  1. Harvest basil leaves (about 2 cups, packed) and place in a half-gallon Mason jar.
  2. Boil 6-7 cups of water.
  3. Pour boiling water over basil leaves and let steep for 20-30 minutes (the longer you let it steep the stronger the flavor).
  4. Strain basil leaves out of the tea.
  5. While the tea is still warm, add honey to taste.
  6. Add lemon juice, to taste, and sample the tea.
  7. Add more honey, if needed, before transferring it to the refrigerator.

A woman drinking a glass of basil tea.

Other Recipes You May Enjoy

Basil iced tea in a glass with lemon wedges and fresh basil leaves.

Simple Basil Tea Recipe (Iced or Hot)

Learn to make this simple basil tea recipe and enjoy it hot or iced. Add honey and fresh-squeezed lemon juice for a refreshing summer treat.
4.29 from 14 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Basil Tea, Basil Tea Recipe, Holy Basil Tea
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Steep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 197kcal
Author: Jessica Sowards

Ingredients

  • 2 cups basil leaves
  • 7 cups water boiling
  • 3/4 cup honey or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice or to taste

Instructions

  • Harvest basil leaves (about 2 cups, packed) and place in a half-gallon Mason jar.
  • Boil 6-7 cups of water.
  • Pour boiling water over basil leaves and let steep for 20-30 minutes (the longer you let it steep the stronger the flavor).
  • Strain basil leaves out of the tea.
  • While the tea is still warm, add honey and stir well to combine.
  • Add lemon juice, taste, and add more honey or lemon as needed.
  • Store in the refrigerator for one to two weeks and enjoy over ice.

Video

Notes

  • Stir honey in while the tea is still slightly warm or at room temperature. If you wait until the tea is cold, it won't mix in well.
  • If you can find a local source for honey, sometimes they'll sell it by the five-gallon bucket and you'll save a lot of money over buying it by the quart jar at the grocery store or Farmer's Market.

Nutrition

Serving: 2cups | Calories: 197kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 24mg | Potassium: 72mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 52g | Vitamin A: 633IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 1mg
I want to share this beautiful life with others and teach them the lessons we've learned along the way. Welcome to Roots and Refuge, friend. I am so glad you're here.

Top Posts

R&R on Teachable

Looking to get started Homesteading? Check out our courses!

Subscribe Now

Never miss an update from us! 

Plus...something special

coming next week!

15585

Watch Jess & Miah's "Wilder Still" Series

Close

USE CODE  "JESS10" FOR 10% OFF - EXPIRES 3/4/2022

​​Plus premium content, designed specifically for your homesteading needs.