Elizabeth Johnson, chef and owner of San Antonio’s Pharm Table, discovered she loved yerba mate tea during her travels to South America. Especially popular in Paraguay and North Argentina, yerba mate has a caffeine-like effect and some beneficial antioxidants. One typically sips the refreshing tea through a bombilla or filtered straw. If you don’t have a bombilla, steep tea in water and strain before adding to a glass. Learn how to prepare chef Johnson’s Tereré below.
Yields: 1 serving
- 1 pink or red grapefruit
- ¼ cup loose yerba mate tea
- 8 oz filtered water
- fresh mint and/or lemon verbena sprigs
With vegetable peeler, remove 1 long strip peel from grapefruit; place in large iced tea glass. Add tea to glass; tilt glass so that tea sits to the side. Place bombilla or filtered straw, if using, on opposite side of glass from tea. Fill glass with ice. Squeeze ½ cup juice from grapefruit, then pour into glass with water; add sprigs of herbs. Let steep 10 minutes before serving.
* Chef’s Note: This traditional drink popular in Paraguay and North Argentina can be enjoyed throughout the day by continuing to add grapefruit juice and water to the steeped tea leaves. In pitcher, add about 4 cups filtered water and infuse with grapefruit, lemon and/or orange slices and sprigs of herbs. Squeeze 2 cups grapefruit juice from about 3 grapefruits. Add 2 parts water to 1 part grapefruit juice to tea in glass, adding ice as needed.