This rhubarb raspberry iced tea is made with iced rooibos tea, honey and bee pollen for a healthy sweetness, dried rose and vanilla for a spiced floral note and of course rhubarb and raspberries for the delicious sweet and tart combination. This is inspired by my favorite rooibos tea that unfortunately has been discontinued.
Why you’ll love this recipe
You will love this iced rooibos tea if you like the sweet and tart combination, like for example in a hibiscus tea. In addition, rooibos has a very distinct flavor in itself, it is smooth and gentle, full-bodied, with warm woody and nutty notes. But if you don't like rooibos, you can of course swap it for black tea too.
It has a lot of delicious, yet delicate flavors and together they form an explosion of flavors that are balanced wonderfully together. It may sound fancy, but honestly, it is so easy to make!
So let's dig into the ingredients list for this iced tea recipe:
- Rooibos tea for a warm, woody and nutty tea which is completely caffeine free! Swap for any tea if you don't like it, but I urge you to give it a try.
- Raspberries are so versatile and I always have a bag of frozen raspberries in my freezer so they are very accessible to me. I love the tartness of raspberries along with the sweet ingredients in this drink. You can use both fresh and frozen for this recipe.
- Rhubarb is my favorite spring and early summer fruit. The flavor is unbeatable, and the tartness goes so well with honey and vanilla. If you can't find rhubarb, well first of all, I'm terribly sorry, and second of all, just use more raspberries! For more rhubarb recipes, try this rhubarb and raspberry crisp, rhubarb Moscow mule or bakery style rhubarb muffins!
- Vanilla bean is the real kicker of this recipe and bring it from delicious to fantastic in a few seconds. The little black specks add a deliciously spiced and sweet note to the drink. If you don't want to splurge on a vanilla bean, you can use pure vanilla extract although it won't be as pungent and special.
- Dried rose has turned out to be a new favorite of mine. Or flowers in general. They add such a delicious and summery vibe to pretty much anything. However, it's important to not use too much, or else you run the risk of it tasting like soap or a spa. Other recipes for flowers include this grapefruit and calendula hot mulled cider, elderflower cordial and white chocolate mousse with a rose syrup.
- Honey to sweeten the drink. Honey and raspberries (and rhubarb) are fantastic together, creating a medley of woodsy, tart and sweet flavors. It is also a nutritious way of sweetening it.
- Bee pollen for added floral and honey flavors and boosting the nutritional value of the recipe. Read more under Recipe FAQs.
- Lemon juice just to balance everything and enhancing the flavors!
Start by making the rhubarb raspberry syrup. Combine all the ingredients apart from lemon juice and rooibos tea in a medium saucepan. Cut open the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds, add both bean and seeds to the pan (1).
Bring to a simmer and let simmer for 15-30 minutes. The longer you let it simmer, the more flavor you will extract. When it’s done, stir in 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Strain the mixture.
Combine with 4 cups of freshly brewed rooibos tea (2-3). Taste and see if you want more honey and/or lemon juice. This is easier to do when it is still hot. Let it cool completely before enjoying.
Garnish with frozen raspberries, the halved vanilla beans you used while cooking, a rhubarb stalk and fresh thyme for a fun and pretty presentation!
This raspberry iced tea can easily be stored in the refrigerator. Make sure it has a tight lid or plastic wrap so it doesn't absorb other flavors from the refrigerator. I wouldn't store it for more than 3 days so that it stays fresh tasting, but it will never last that long anyway!
If you want to store it for longer, make sure you don't combine the rooibos tea with the rhubarb raspberry syrup before ready to drink it. The syrup should last 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator if it is bottled on a clean bottle or jar.
Health benefits of rooibos tea
Rooibos tea is an South African tea made from the Aspalathus linearis shrub, and it is completely caffeine free. It is also known as red tea because when they ferment the leaves, they turn into this brownish-red color.
Health benefits from rooibos tea stem from its high contents of antioxidants. In addition to this, it is low in tannin which can make it harder to absorb some nutrients like iron. If you have kidney problems, rooibos tea is a great alternative to black and green tea.
It is good for your heart by lowering the blood pressure. It may also lower "bad" LDL cholesterol and increase "good" HDL cholesterol. Most other research have not been tested on people yet, but it appears that it can also kill cancer cells and improve insulin resistance.
Is it ok to drink rooibos every day?
Yes. Rooibos is considered very safe to drink on a regular basis. Negative side effects are extremely rare, so I wouldn't worry about it. However, if you still do, check out this case report on rooibos tea. Keep in mind that this is just one complex case.
Does rooibos tea make you sleepy?
Black and green tea contain caffeine, which can be good in moderate amounts for exercise, concentration and moods. However, too much can cause anxiety and sleep problems.
Rooibos tea, on the other hand, is naturally caffeine free. Rooibos is therefore a great alternative to a cozy mug of black tea in the evening before bed. It can be equally cozy, pinky promise! Rooibos can help you relax and wind down before bedtime.
If you really struggle with sleep, I would also try the chamomile iced tea in my new 99 summer drink cookbook!
Nutrition and health benefits of bee pollen
Bee pollen is a superfood that in its natural form is small, crunchy pellets that tastes like honey. It appears that bee pollen can relieve inflammation, it is high in antioxidants like the rooibos too, and it can strengthen the immune system, boost liver health and even reduce stress.
This makes it a healthy and delicious boost to add to your night cap drink or even a morning beverage. Not sure when you would drink this rhubarb raspberry iced tea, but I sure could drink it all day long.
How to eat bee pollen
In this recipe it is just simmered with the rest of the ingredients and then strained out, but you could grind it and add it to the drink to take advantage of the health benefits.
Make it cold brew
I've become an avid cold brewer. The flavors are much more pronounced and it is SO easy. I love to cold brew black tea, green tea, herbal teas, all the teas. I talk more about it in my new 99 Summer Drinks cookbook (see below), but to make this rooibos tea cold brew, do this:
Instead of warm water, use cold water when you brew the rooibos tea. Simply add the same amount of rooibos to a decanter of the same amount of cold water. Cover it and place in the refrigerator and let it steep for 10 hours.
Meanwhile, you can make the rhubarb raspberry syrup as stated in the recipe. Let it cool completely before straining into the cold rooibos tea.
It is harder to change the level of sweetness when everything is cool, but you could use this honey syrup instead, which is thinner and easier to incorporate into colder drinks!
If you're a tea lover like me, I'm sure you will love another summer favorite - Earl Grey Ice Cream!
Don't miss out on my newest cookbook!
99 Summer Drinks cookbook
Interested in fun drinks - ranging from lemonades to cocktails, mocktails and smoothies, and more? This e-cookbook is for you!
Did you like this recipe? Here are more iced teas I think you’d love:
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