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Purple Basil CoolerReyhan Şerbeti

Serve ice cold on a hot summers day and its unique spicy-sweet flavour will pack a refreshing punch that'll have you revitalised and ready to go. Basil may seem like a strange idea for a cold drink but it's surprisingly addictive and its ever-changing purple tones are rather eye-catching. 

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Exploring The Turkish Kitchen Blog

Turkish herbal tea, ıhlamur and new book the 'Expat Sofra'.

The colours outside are taking a shift to warmer hews, and I've been struck down with my first and probably not last cold of this end of the year. 

I've got sniffles, snuffles, sneezes, backache, headache.... all over my darn body ache! There is a silver lining; However, the postman's been and delivered me a new book. One I've been looking out for the release of for quite some time. Plus I've armed with herbal tea, and I've dug out the winter day blankets.

So with copious amounts of Ihlamur çayı (uhh-la-murr) - Linden tea and some lose yourself in a book time I'm hoping to kick the germs away. I dibble-dabbled in herbal teas and remedies while living in the UK but didn't appreciate the power of simple, pure, natural ingredients until I moved to Turkey.

Firstly, because my dear in-laws are so knowledgeable about what herb to use for whatever ails you. And secondly, because here Doctors/Chemists consider so many medicines as 'not recommended' during pregnancy or breastfeeding. (Not all herbs/teas are considered safe during P&BF either).

Ihlamur or Linden tea is up there in my favourites. It's majestic cold busting, nose clearing, head calming– power along with flavour enhancing / vitamin boosting additions of lemon, honey, apple peel, ginger and cloves have me running for the teapot and spice shelf at the first sign of a sniffle... All the more effective of course with a blanket, a new book and a weather report of income rain.


How To Make Ihlamur çayı - Cold Busting Linden Tea 

Using a Turkish çaydanlık for multiple cups of a coffee press for one (Half the recipe)

  • Boiled water left off the boil for 3-4 minutes. 
  • 2 Handfuls of linden flowers and leaves 
  • Peel of one apple
  • Half to one whole lemon, sliced
  • 2 Cloves
  • A thin slice of fresh ginger if available 
  • A generous drizzle of honey for each cup

* (Look out for sellers who are selling mixes that are heavy in flowers rather than leaves. You'll need to use a lot more quantity of leaves than flowers to get your cold busting kick. Cheap mixes are so densely filled with leaves they tend to offer a false economy)


Place the flowers and leaves, lemon slices, apple peel and spices into the teapot and add the hot water ontop.


Leave to steep for 5-10 minutes.


Strain the tea into teacups and add a drizzle in the honey.


What is ıhlamur cayı. Turkish herbal tea, ıhlamur

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