By Times Staff
Gloucester Daily Times
The Newport Flower Show in Newport, R.I., is an annual celebration of horticultural achievement as well as the beauty of the Newport Mansions.
The Newport Flower Show celebrated its 18th year this June with the themed show “Jade: Eastern Obsessions,” taking visitors on an exotic journey to the Far East. Visitors were served ginger- and lemongrass-infused tea, lobster Rangoon and Asian-style chicken wings. The Asian food complemented the classic American tradition of the flower show, hosted at the historic Rosecliff mansion, one of the most beautiful and historic venues in the world. The Newport Mansions showcase more than three centuries of American architectural achievement, and the Newport Flower Show honors the legacy of the mansions in celebration but also in practice — the revenue the flower show generates is dedicated to the restoration and preservation of the grounds.
One popular food item served was the lemongrass- and ginger-infused iced tea. The spice of the ginger paired with the tartness of lemon made for a refreshing and authentic Asian drink.
Ginger- and Lemongrass-Infused Iced Tea
1 cup smashed lemongrass
1, 2-inch piece fresh ginger, unpeeled, sliced and smashed
3 tablespoons Thai basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
4 cups filtered water
4, 2-gram bags of green tea
4 lemon slices, optional
1 tablespoon lemon juice, or to taste, optional
Edible orchids for garnish
1. Combine lemongrass, mint, Thai basil and ginger slices in a large glass bowl.
2. Bring 4 cups filtered water nearly to a boil; pour over tea bags in a pitcher. Steep tea for 90 seconds. Squeeze tea bags into pitcher and discard bags. Take half of this liquid after it has cooled slightly for about 10 minutes and pour over the aromatic herbs. Cover this bowl and place in the refrigerator. Put the other half of the tea in a glass pitcher in the refrigerator as well. Tea will taste best if these rest overnight.
3. Strain lemongrass-ginger water into pitcher with green tea, squeezing out excess liquid. Serve with lemon slices and lemon juice. Garnish with a sprig of mint, couple of basil leaves and a fresh orchid. Should not need any sugar for the ginger and lemongrass will add a “sweet” quality.
Also best with lots of ice! Enjoy!
Recipe courtesy of Chef James F, Connolly, CEC, CCA, ACE, AAC, 2013.