Honeysuckle Iced Tea is a sweet, floral, and refreshing drink made from honeysuckle blossoms ~ it’s the perfect thing to sip on a warm summer day!
honeysuckle iced tea celebrates the arrival of spring
With Easter and Passover behind us, spring is really and truly here. The honeysuckle vine draped across my front porch is in bloom, and every time I go in or out I’m blown away by the scent. I’ve been determined to use those incredible – edible flowers somehow. I’m always inspired by ingredients I can find in my own yard, (or my neighbor’s!) Over the last three years we’ve moved so often that I’ve tried to reduce the sting by challenging myself to find the elements in each new landscape that I can incorporate into my cooking.
I tried to make you a honeysuckle ice cream, but I’m going to have to keep working on that one, the flavor just didn’t come through. (Update: recipe for Honeysuckle Ice Cream here!) Honeysuckle tea is more mainstream, in fact its been used medicinally by the Chinese for thousands of years. I love it for its delicate scent, and the nectar is sweeter than honey. I was amazed by how much flavor I got out of a jarful of flowers. If you have access to a vine, you’ve got to try this.
honeysuckle tea is made with the delicate white and yellow flowers of the Japanese honeysuckle vine
It’s considered an invasive species, so gardeners and conservationists don’t like it, but it is pretty common, so chances are there’s a vine or two near you. The flowers come in pairs, and you’ll want to pluck them right at their base, where the nectar is. Look for freshly opened flowers, and avoid or pick out the leaves, stems, and berries.
how to make honeysuckle tea
- The tea is made by pouring scalding water over the blossoms, and letting it cool at room temperature.
- Then you can chill your infusion in the refrigerator.
- I left mine overnight before straining it through a coffee filter.
what does honeysuckle tea taste like?
honeysuckle tea has a lovely pale celadon color, a light floral scent, and a surprisingly sweet flavor.
Pour over ice, and add a sprig of mint. Whatever you do, though, don’t add honey before tasting your tea — it’s incredibly sweet all by itself. You might want a squeeze of lemon if you don’t like sweet tea.
If you’ve got a honeysuckle vine blooming nearby, be sure to try my other honeysuckle recipes:
safety note: gathering and foraging wild edibles is fun and safe when you know what you’re doing. Make sure you can identify the plants that you are picking, and don’t pick from roadsides or anywhere where pesticides have been used. If you need help identifying Japanese Honeysuckle, check out this article.
Honeysuckle Iced Tea
- 2 cups honeysuckle blossoms, more or less
- fresh mint sprigs
- a few honeysuckle blossoms
- Pluck the blossoms from the honeysuckle vine. Discard any leaves or green parts. Try to take the freshly opened flowers, and even the buds that are about to open. Put them in a pitcher or mason jar.
- Cover with about 2 1/2 cups water that has been heated to just boiling. Give it a good stir and let steep at room temperature for several hours. Then refrigerate overnight.
- Strain the tea through a fine mesh strainer, cheesecloth, or a coffee filter. The coffee filter will yield a crystal clear tea.
- Serve cold over ice with a mint sprig and a few blossoms for garnish.
Questions and Reviews
This sounds delicious. I am eager for spring to come around so that I can harvest my honeysuckle. I love your website and have tried to sign up for your emails. My name and email address is rejected. Could you please add my name and address to your emails?
Of course Sue, I have no idea why that’s happening to you! I’m signing you up now 🙂
It says you’re already subscribed, so maybe check your spam folder if you don’t see my emails.
Although the flowers smell so sweet, the tea came out quite bitter (and not a good bitter like green tea) despite picking off the green parts. I guess it would have to be a bit more of an indulgent treat because of the amount of sweetener it needs to taste palatable.
Howdy, would you know if this would work well for flowers that have been dehydrated or do they have to be fresh?
Dehydrated flowers should work just fine.
I don’t have any honey suckles but I have gardenia bushes. Are they edible
Gardenia blossoms are edible, but I haven’t tried making tea with them.
I tried making honeysuckle tea today but it turned out really bitter! Have you ever had this happen? Do you have any advice? Thank you!
You can add mint and lemon balm to combat the bitterness!