5 Ingredients or Fewer

Aromatherapy - FRESH all Year round

June 26, 2011
0 Ratings
  • Serves a croud
Author Notes

When I posted the Strawberry and Lemon Verbena Summer Drink, I used fresh Lemon Verbena from my garden. But HealthierKitchen told me she wanted to make it but the strawberry season had ended but she still had lemon verbena. So she was putting Lemon Verbena in a pitcher with cold water as I suggested.
So I thought what can I do with all my fresh Lemon Verbena so that I can enjoy it for a longer time. Herbs don’t freeze well and dried impart a totally different taste in my view.
This recipe has nothing new or exciting and I am aware of it. Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to be Merril or Amanda here with absolutely incredible recipes. I'm just an ordinary person who has hundreds of recipes in my brain and many a times can’t even make up a day’s menu, let alone sticking fresh herbs in the freezer in ice-cubes.
Not all herbs react the same way. In this case fresh Lemon Verbena has a citrus taste and aroma that comes out even in cold liquids. So with that in mind I thought about making ice-cubes with Lemon Verbena. But, as the freezer “kills” some of the fresh taste, I make an infusion with part of the leaves and transfer the cooled infusion with fresh herbs to ice-cube trays.
Use the idea with mint, basil or even lemon thyme!
Photo: Shutterstock —Maria Teresa Jorge

What You'll Need
  • 2 bunches big of Lemon Verbena
  • water
  1. Use freshest Lemon Verbena available. Wash under cold water and pat excess water away.
  2. Pluck leaves out. Use half the leaves and put them in a large pitcher. Add boiling water and leave to infuse 1/2 hour.Allow to cool completely before putting in icecube trays.
  3. Remove leaves. Fill ice-cube trays with the other half of the leaves and add the cold Lemon Verbena water and freeze.
  4. Once frozen you can remove ice-cubes and put them in a clean plastic bag where you marked the date and flavour.
  5. When making your drinks, put 2 ice-cubes in glass and pour your juice on top.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Droplet
  • Sagegreen
  • Maria Teresa Jorge
    Maria Teresa Jorge

5 Reviews

Droplet June 28, 2011
These are very pretty. I love things frozen in ice cubes. I read somewhere once that freezing as a process is similar to blanching. So depending on the thickness of the leaf being frozen, I'd assume they will infuse at least some taste into it. There are ice cube trays with sliding tops available, which would be great for keeping the pure taste of these.
Maria T. June 28, 2011
Hi Droplet, I think the process I use might yield more taste as I make a tea like infusion prior to freezing. At least in my experience, it comes out with lots of flavour.
Thanks for your comment and input. I know the trays you're talking about. I make the ice-cubes and once frozen, put them in Zip lock bags to make life easier.
Sagegreen June 26, 2011
These are beautiful. Last year I did several with different herbs as well as citrus rinds, most recently with cucumbers. Mrslarkin has had great luck with flowers. I found that basil got very slimy after the ice cube melted. I haven't tried verbena, but it may be a good idea to watch out for the break down of thinner herbal leaves. They are best fresh I have found. They do look great in the cubes, until they melt.
Maria T. June 26, 2011
Hi Sagegreen, I also find freezing herbs is a total waste of time, but this is more like freezing a herbal tea with a leaf inside for decoration. I doubt the frozen leaf will give any taste, I think the only taste will come from the infusion pre-freezing.
The thinner the leaves, the worst they come out. But you can see this by the behaviour of the leaves with a knife. Lemon Verbena is quite rough and does not oxidate in contact with a metal blade, whereas basil for instances, is extremely fragile and oxidates immediately.
Sagegreen June 26, 2011
Great point, thanks. I found that just freezing basil infused water works well with a lemon or lime rind with no herb. Glad to know that verbena is tougher. I will give that a go, since it is flourishing in my garden this year.