Rose Petal Iced Tea by Gayle Brandeis

Cocktails with Writers was meant to celebrate the start of spring, but now I am using it to coax spring into showing her pretty face. So, in the spirit, here is a lovely non-alcoholic beverage contributed by Gayle Brandeis, the author of the novel, Self Storage. Here’s what she says about her recipe:
“The main character of Self Storage is fascinated by her Afghan neighbor, who wears a full burqa. Flan never sees Sodaba’s face or has a full conversation with her, but their lives collide and they find human connection.”
In honor of Sodaba and all her sisters, here is a cool drink for hot days, fragrant and refreshing:
Rose Petal Iced Tea
Serves 4-6

  • Petals from 3 pesticide-free roses
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 5 cups of water
  • 3 bags of green tea
  • sugar to taste

  • Boil 3 cups of water. Add the rose petals and lemon juice, turn off the heat and let steep for 8-10 hours.
  • Strain into a large jug; discard the petals.
  • Boil 2 cups of water. Remove from heat, and add the tea bags.
  • Brew for 5 minutes. Stir in sugar to taste.

  • Cool, then pour into jug with rose water. Add additional sugar if you’d like a sweeter tea.
    Serve well chilled over ice, garnished with extra rose petals (perhaps even candied rose petals), if desired.

    “Walt Whitman couldn’t have asked for a slyer, funnier, savvier envoy than Gayle Brandeis to carry his ‘Song of Myself’ into our day and age.” —ABBY FRUCHT

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