18 Jun 2021

Summer Solstice Sun Tea Recipes

The clouds make way, the night lessens, and the sun shines brightly as ever. It is the summer solstice—the longest day of the year!  On this day, the sunbeams high in the sky, proudly providing warmth and light. A new season is ushered in, with the hope of a successful harvest to follow. The summer solstice calls for much celebration like the sun tea recipes I’m sharing below.

The bright energy of this day begs to be harnessed. It is the perfect time to make a solar infusion. If you haven’t tried making sun tea, this is your sign to do it! One of the wonderful aspects of sun tea is that your herbal infusion benefits from the sun’s rays. In fact, solar energy is an integral part of the process. The solar rays beaming down on your glass jar is like a bolt of magic, pulling out the plant’s beneficial properties with each passing hour.

As a ritual of celebration, marking the longest day of the year, here are a few sun tea recipes to try. 

dried herbs in the shape of the sun

Summer Solstice Sun Tea Recipes

Sunshine Tea: Calendula (Calendula officinalis), Linden (Tilia spp.), and Lemon

It is fitting that this tea recipe features the herb of the sun herself, calendula (Calendula officialis). Simply gazing at this sunny, golden flower brings a sense of upliftment. Bright yellow and orange petals mimic the sun as it bestows brightness onto any garden. Paradoxically,  despite its bright and vibrant exterior, calendula is a cooling herb, helping to ease the body into the summer season. When infused as a tea and taken internally, calendula is wonderful for soothing gastrointestinal problems. Also, as a lymphatic tonic, its cleansing properties make it supportive for the immune system  (Gladstar, 2012). 

Pairing the vibrant calendula with a cooling, relaxing nervine like linden (Tilia spp.), makes for an herbaceous combo with many benefits. Linden has a sweet, pleasant flavor, making it a perfect addition to any tea. I find that when linden is dominant in my tea blends, I rarely need sweetener. This soothing ingredient is called “the tree of happiness” for its ability to bestow joy to anyone who sits under its branches. It is said that if you fall asleep under a linden tree, you wake up in fairyland (Seal, 2009). 

Sip on this tea to celebrate the summer solstice, or even better, this recipe can also be used topically as a soothing compress.  This application is perfect if you’ve enjoyed the solstice sun for longer than your skin would like. The topical uses for calendula and linden will help to ease discomfort from sunburns and reduce inflammation (Herbal Academy, n.d.). 

up close of sunshine tea recipe

Sunshine Tea Recipe

 

Drink a cup of sunshine tea under the sun as a blessing to the start of the summer season. Feel the calmness wash over you with each sip. 

Ingredients

1 quart-sized Mason jar
2 tablespoons linden (Tilia spp.)
1 tablespoon calendula (Calendula officianalis)
3 lemon slices
Filtered water to fill jar

Directions

  • Simply place all ingredients into your jar.
  • Fill your jar with filtered water.
  • Place your jar in a sunny spot, covered by a lid or piece of cheesecloth and rubber band.
  • Let your sun tea infuse in the sunshine for about 3 hours.

To Use: 

  • Strain out your herbs and fruit and enjoy your sun tea over ice with a little honey!

close up photo of herbal paradise punch

Herbal Paradise Punch: Hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa), Rosehips, and Orange 

If there was ever a way to combine vitamin C and vitamin D in the most delicious drink, this would be it! Hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa), is one of the prettiest sun teas to make. The water almost instantaneously changes to a deep, luscious red. As the sun warms the jar, nutrients infuse into the water with every passing moment. Hibiscus sun tea provides high levels of vitamin C and minerals as rich as the color itself (Gladstar, 1999)!

For an even bigger antioxidant boost try rose hips! One of the most fascinating herb facts I recently learned is that rose (Rosa spp.) hips have more vitamin C content than any other fruit or herb (Heinerman, 1996). Since then, I’ve been finding ways to add it to our herbal recipes. Using rose hips in a sun tea blend is a wonderful way to enhance the vitamins and minerals in your infusion without adding any bitter-tasting elements. 

There is a beautiful apothecary store in Long Beach called Green Wisdom. The owner, Julie James, is a wealth of knowledge! Each visit, she provides so much insight into the herbs I’m purchasing, offering tidbits of information to better help me understand herbalism itself. One memorable tip that I now put into practice is the enhancement of herbal infusions. 

Adding citrus to my blends helps to draw out more of the plant’s beneficial properties. As I have learned through my Herbal Academy studies, water as a solvent can only extract so much from the plant. However, when we introduce other solvents like alcohol, vinegar, and in this case acidic citrus, you then increase the range of constituents that can be extracted. Something as simple as adding a slice of lemon or juice from a lime will exponentially improve the strength of your herbal infusion. Not to mention, citrus fruits in sun tea recipes taste delicious! 

herbal paradise punch recipe in a jar

Herbal Paradise Punch Recipe

Pour this sun tea over ice with a little honey for sweetness and you’ll have an herbal paradise punch, perfect for sipping in the sunshine! 

Ingredients

1 quart-sized Mason jar
2 tablespoons hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa)
1 tablespoon rose (Rosa spp.) hips
3 orange slices
Filtered water to fill jar

Directions

  • Simply place all ingredients into your jar.
  • Fill your jar with filtered water.
  • Place your jar in a sunny spot, covered by a lid or piece of cheesecloth and rubber band.
  • Let your sun tea infuse in the sunshine for about 3 hours.

To Use: 

Strain out your herbs and fruit and enjoy your sun tea over ice with a little honey! 

close up of peppy peach tea in a jar

Peppy Peach Tea: Green tea, Mint (Mentha spp.), and Peach

Green tea is an incredible powerhouse beverage. The benefits of drinking it are astounding!  Among the many benefits of green tea are the high antioxidant levels. Extensive research has been done on green tea, and among the findings are that a cup or two of green tea daily is a wonderful way to: improve brain function, lower the risk of disease, improve the longevity of life and just overall feel better (Chacko, 2010). Making a large batch of this sun tea recipe is an easy way to have a jug of herbal goodness full of health benefits right in your fridge. 

Adding a few leaves of mint to this sun tea will give it a fresh cooling flavor, perfect for a summer day. In addition to its powerful aromatic properties, mint also offers its share of health benefits. Mint has traditionally been used to help digestion and even to quiet a headache—usages that are still common today(Seal, 2009). This uplifting and cooling herb is a perfect pantry item to add to this green sun tea recipe.

Lastly, give your sun tea a little note of sweet crisp flavor by adding a few slices of peach. This will lightly flavor your mild-tasting green tea, giving it that peppy peach flavor.  

straining peppy peach tea into a glass container

Peppy Peach Tea Recipe

With peaches in season, this peppy tea is perfectly timed for summer. I don’t know about you, but I find that a summer peach is always refreshing! 

Ingredients

1 quart-sized Mason jar
2 green tea bags
3-5 sprigs of mint (Mentha, spp.)
3 peach slices
Filtered water to fill jar

Directions

  • Simply place all ingredients into your jar.
  • Fill your jar with filtered water.
  • Place your jar in a sunny spot, covered by a lid or piece of cheesecloth and rubber band.
  • Let your sun tea infuse in the sunshine for about 3 hours.

To Use: 

Strain out your herbs and fruit and enjoy your sun tea over ice with a little honey!

And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer. —F. Scott Fitzgerald

jars of tea sitting on a ladder

In Closing,

Life is made up of many simple rituals. Everyday things that sometimes we subconsciously do. However, I have found in my experience, the intentional things we do to connect with ourselves and to connect with nature make all the difference, like creating beautiful sun tea recipes for summer solstice as a small ritual. Allowing yourself time to create and then enjoy something made from your very own garden, then watch the magic that mother nature provides as your sun tea brews, is simply celestial. Cheers friends and happy summer solstice! 

For more tea recipes, see:

Meadowsweet Tea with Rose
After-Dinner Tea Recipe: Chamomile, Fennel, and Orange

Summer Solstice Sun Tea Recipes | Herbal Academy | In celebration of the longest day of the year, the summer solstice, we have three delicious sun tea recipes for you to try!

REFERENCES

Chacko, S. M., Thambi, P. T., Kuttan, R., & Nishigaki, I. (2010). Beneficial effects of green tea: A literature review. Chinese Medicine, 5(1), 13. https://doi.org/10.1186/1749-8546-5-13

Gladstar, R. (1999). Herbs for children’s health. North Adams, MA: Versa Press.

Gladstar, R. (2012). Medicinal herbs: A beginners guide. North Adams, MA: Versa Press.

Heinerman, J. (1995). Heinerman’s encyclopedia of healing herbs & spices. New York, NY: Penguin Putnam Inc.

Herbal Academy. (n.d.). Introductory Herbal Course [Online Educational Program]. Retrieved from https://theherbalacademy.com/product/introductory-herbal-course/

Seal, M. & Seal, J. (2009). Backyard medicine: Harvest and make your own herbal remedies. New York, NY: Skyhorse Publishing.