A recipe for Aynar (Lebanese Spiced Tea)! This orange-tinted tea is packed with warming spices and served with a combination of chopped walnuts, pistachios, and pine nuts.
Today is Claire’s due date (and our 5 year anniversary)! Instead of welcoming home a newborn this week, she decided to surprise us and arrive last month when I was 36 weeks pregnant.
For being slightly premature, she has been doing amazingly well. My friend Lauren from Sew You Think You Can Cook even threw me a surprise virtual baby shower with a wonderful group of fellow bloggers, but Claire was already here by the posting date! She was 6 pounds 3 ounces and 18 3/4 inches at birth and had already gained a pound and an inch by her two week appointment.
Evan loves having a sibling so far. He always has to know where she is, but will often tell me to give her to Dad so I can focus on him. He also keeps trying to get her to play with his toys. Welcome to the family Claire!
Aynar (Lebanese Spiced Tea)
While I was pregnant, I started researching to see what foods and drinks are popular during the postpartum period around the world. I came across a recipe for Aynar, a Lebanese Spiced Tea, from UmmObaidah Cooks. Other recipes that stood out during my search were Lohusa Şerbeti (a seasoned red Turkish tea) and Beschuit met Muisjes (twice-baked bread topped with butter and anise-flavored sprinkles that have been dyed either pink or blue).
This Lebanese tea is is perfect for celebrating a new baby and helping in the postpartum period. Water is simmered on the stove with cinnamon sticks, fresh ginger, anise seeds, and nutmeg. Sugar is blended in to taste, then the tea is served with a small handful of chopped nuts for quite the soothing drink.
The Aynar comes together with minimal prep, but does take some time to simmer on the stove. I usually cook the mixture between 1-1 1/2 hours. The longer the tea simmers, the stronger the flavor and color.
Adjust the level of sugar for the Aynar based on personal taste. I tend to stick with around 2/3 cup. Decrease to 1/2 cup for a more lightly sweetened drink or increase further to 1 full cup for a very sweet tea.
Place a layer of mixed, chopped nuts in the bottom of each glass before pouring in the tea. Most will float to the top. I used an assortment of what I happened to have on hand: walnuts, pistachios, and pine nuts (almonds are also popular).
If the holes in your strainer are too large to hold the anise seeds, add a coffee filter or cheesecloth to help catch the spices.
Looking for more tea recipes?
- Sudanese Cinnamon Tea
- Teh Tarik (Malaysian Pulled Tea)
- Shay bil Maramiya (Palestinian Sage-Scented Tea)
Aynar (Lebanese Spiced Tea) Recipe
Adapted from UmmObaidah Cooks
Aynar (Lebanese Spiced Tea)
- 8 cups (1.8 liters) water
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 2 inch (5 cm) piece fresh ginger sliced
- 1 tablespoon anise seed
- 1/4 nutmeg
- 2/3 cup (135 grams) granulated sugar
- Chopped walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios, and/or almonds for serving
- In a medium saucepan, place water over high heat. Add the cinnamon sticks, fresh ginger slices, anise seeds, and nutmeg.
- Once the water comes to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Allow to simmer to desired strength and color, 1-1 1/2 hours.
- Immediately before ready to serve, whisk in the sugar and simmer until dissolved. Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve. Discard the spices.
- Place the chopped nuts into the bottom of each teacup. Pour in the hot tea and serve immediately.