NOT JUST YOUR ORDINARY LEMONADE

Summer’s practically here and during those dog days we need something to quench our thirst, especially if we are out in the garden where the sun does beat down.

Just last weekend, we had some long time friends over for the Memorial Day weekend. During the lively conversation over dinner  (which was a big hit with our visitors, “this is delicious” along with some incoherent yum-mutterings were heard after every other bite *grin*),  one guest commented how she fondly remembered a lemonade that I had served at one of our Film & Food Night events.  She went on and on (and on) about how the herbal infusion made such an exquisite combination.   Lemonade with an herbal twist!

With so many herbs growing in the garden, I like to find creative ways of incorporating them into foods and drinks.   My favorite lemonade additions are lemon verbena and red roses (HOMEgrown of course, do NOT use commercially grown).  Not only does this make the lemonade fragrantly floral,  but the roses also give the lemonade a beautiful pink hue.

Be creative, mix and match your own infusions.

Herbal Infused Lemonade

Ingredients:

6 lemons
6 cups of water
1 cup of white sugar

Procedure:

6 lemons will yield approximately a cup of freshly-squeezed lemon juice. Before cutting the lemons in half, firmly roll the lemons between your hand and the tabletop to make the juicing a lot easier.
In a pitcher containing 6 cups of water, add 1 cup of white sugar and the freshly-squeezed lemon juice. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
To make the perfect combination of sweet and tart, simply adjust the ingredients, such as adding extra lemon juice or lessening the amount of sugar you put into the mixture, depending on your taste.

Infusion of Herbs

Now for the twist to this classic lemonade recipe: to maximize the flavor, aroma and benefits of the herbs of your choice, we need to infuse the drink with herb. Basically, you have a variety of choices when it comes to herb selections. But the popular ones are lavender, basil, thyme, peppermint and ginger.

The herb of your choice will be added to an easy-to-make syrup which will be stirred into your classic lemonade recipe later on. Making the syrup is very easy, as all it takes are equal parts of white sugar and water over low heat. But it’s better to make lots of it, like a small jar, because you can store it in the fridge anyway. In a saucepan, simply heat your equal parts of water and sugar while stirring constantly to prevent the sugar from burning. Once dissolved, you can add the herb of your choice, by chopping it finely. The amount of herbs you have to add depends on your desired flavor strength. Once the sugar is completely dissolved and a syrupy mixture is obtained, let it cool. Strain the syrup to remove the chopped herbs, and transfer to a jar.

Recipe courtesy http://lemonaderecipe.org/lemonade-with-a-twist-adding-herbs

Are you an avid fermenter?  Consider fermenting lemonade – mmmmmm.

:: Resources ::

Citrus fruits, as such, have long been valued for their wholesome nutritious and antioxidant properties. It is scientifically established that citrus fruits, especially lemons and oranges, by virtue of their richness in vitamins and minerals, have many proven health benefits.

Lemon Health

Health Benefits of Lemons

Shop the Front Porch Farm Stand and need to wet your whistle?  Inquire about having a glass or two and sit a spell in our garden.

Comments(2)

  1. Ginger says:

    Good idea! But now you have me wondering about the health benefits of roses. I think I’ll try this with stevia. I make horchata with licorice infusion.

  2. Chris V says:

    Great post, Anais ~ Thanks for the link on the health benefits of lemon!
    If I have honey that has start to crystallize, I make a honey simple syrup with it using almost equal parts of honey and water. (i.e. scant cup of crystallized honey to 1 cup of filtered water). I gently heat until honey has dissolved and let simmer about 1-2 minutes until honey is completely dissolved. I sometimes throw in some herbs once honey is dissolved and let it steep while it’s cooling. Strain. Store in a mason jar in the fridge. If I’m using it to entertain with, I serve it in it’s own clear pitcher with a sprig of the fresh herb floating in it and/or add a thin slice or two of curly lemon peel.

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