There is nothing like a freshly brewed cup of rooibos tea to start your day, because tea is the new coffee.
Whether you prefer your tea black or white, bitter or sweet, this home brew has come a long way from just simmering in a pot of hot water, to being the main ingredient in cocktails. It can even help stir things up in the bedroom.
The rooibos cocktail movement is all the rage in bars across Europe, the United States and even Cape Town.
Food and drink trends this year are said to include rooibos inspired wine, gin, cocktails, ice cream, yoghurt, smoothie, sauces and many more.
Experts say bartenders are moving towards creating interesting flavours using unlikely ingredients like rooibos and creating more tea based drinks.
Ernest du Toit, spokesperson of the South African Rooibos Council (SARC) says: “Rooibos tea is an easy and effective way to boost any cocktail. A lot of subtleties of rooibos tea play well off of vodka and specifically gin, since the latter has a lot of the same characteristics as the tea.”
Rooibos contains no fat or carbohydrates, making it a great slimming alternative, it also contains disease-preventing antioxidants which protects against cancer, heart disease and stroke.
It also helps reduce blood pressure and it contains hydroxy acid and zinc which provide relief for skin problems like acne, sunburn and eczema. It’s also good for diabetics as it helps to balance blood sugar levels and improves the absorption of glucose.
Rooibos can also help boost your libido because it’s rich in antioxidants which makes it a natural aphrodisiac.
Forget the expensive wine and oysters and add a cup of rooibos tea or a rooibos infused alcoholic beverage the next time you’re planning a romantic night.
The SARC says rooibos is “exceptionally rich in antioxidants” as it contains 50% more antioxidants than green tea and ranks the same as other libido jump starters.
Du Toit explains antioxidants is obtained through consuming brightly coloured fruits, vegetables and Rooibos tea in particular.
“Research continues to confirm the link between foods that we eat, our sense of well-being and even our emotions,”Du Toit says.
“Eating right, by incorporating food and beverages that are high in antioxidants, such as Rooibos tea, is one of the best ways to boost your libido. The good news is that these foods don’t have to break the bank. Rooibos tea for example sells for a fraction of the cost of a bottle of good red wine. Alternatively, look for a wine that contains Rooibos, to get the best of both”, Du Toit adds.
* Cape Town tea lovers can get acquainted with rooibos this weekend at the inaugural Rooibos Experience where visitors to the festival will be able to taste and experiment with the widest range of gourmet rooibos flavours in food, drink while being treated to traditions and dances exclusive to only the rooibos culture.
The festival takes place on April 22 and 23 from 10am to 4pm at the Root 44 Market located at Audacia Wine Estate on the R44 between Stellenbosch and Somerset West.
Salmon poached in rooibos tea
* Cooks notes- make the quantity of fish you require.
This is enough liquid to poach 2 large fillets, or up to 800gms of fish.
350gm- 800gm fillet of salmon, skin on and pin boned (at room temperature)
3 cups of strong brewed rooibos tea
1 lemon sliced
¼ cup honey
1tsp whole peppercorns
1Tbs sea salt flakes such as Maldon Vinaigrette
1 ½ tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2Tbsp good quality white wine vinegar
1tbsp lemon juice (I used a little of the lemon from the poaching liquid)
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper and sea salt flakes.
Brew the tea and then add it to a wide bottomed pot or pan along with the lemon, honey, salt and peppercorns.
Bring to a simmer.
Add the salmon – skin side up and poach at a very gentle simmer it for 5- 8 minutes depending on the size.
Flip the salmon about ¾ of the way through the cooking time. * At this point you can check if it is cooked through.
Remove the cooked salmon with a slotted lifter and allow to drain on kitchen paper.
Make the vinaigrette by placing all the ingredients in a jar and shaking vigorously until it's thickened and emulsified.
Drizzle the dressing over the warm fish and serve with steamed fresh asparagus and green leaves.
*Recipe by: Sam Linsell- Drizzle and drip
ICED ROOIBOS TEA COCKTAIL
60ml Rooibos Espresso Tea
30ml cherry vodka
15 ml milk
½ cup of ice
In a serving glass add Rooibos Espresso, cherry vodka, and ice
Stir mixture then add milk
Garnish with Cherries