Vietnamese herbal tea is usually served with ice, which makes it a refreshing drink in the middle of a hot and humid summer day. This drink is inspired by Chinese medicine with a focus on ingredients that have “cooling” properties. There are many variations and the one that we are sharing includes artichokes. Don’t be put off by the scary ingredient list as they are easy to find at any Asian grocery store or online.
1 gallon or 3.75 litres of water
2 artichokes cut into quarters
1 pack (6 oz.) of dried longan
1 cup of dried dates
1 cup of dried chrysanthemum flowers
2 pieces of sanh dia (dried Rehmannia glutinosa)
1 tablespoon of rock sugar or regular sugar (adjust to taste). Rock sugar is less sweet and has a clearer taste than regular sugar so it doesn’t overwhelm the light drink.
Soak the artichoke in cold water and rinse thoroughly to remove any sediment.
Quickly rinse the dried ingredients to remove any impurities.
Boil all the ingredients in a large pot for 1 hour.
Strain the herbal tea to remove any solids and discard the ingredients.
Serve with ice for the best flavor. If the tea is too strong or sweet, dilute with ice and/or water to your preference. I prefer mine with 50% herbal tea and 50% water with ice.