Today I made lavender lemonade. It is a warm early summer sunday, and I was craving a refreshing and relaxing tonic, so out came the herbs and I concocted Lavender lemonade.
Everyone loves a glass of lemonade, and what better way to enjoy your herbal infusions in summer! This will work with almost any aromatic herb you may want to use. But even other non aromatic herbs make a lovely lemonade base.
I like to use such herbs as Lavender, Rose, Mint, Lemon Balm, Tulsi, Rosemary, Lemon Verbena, Birch, Hibiscus, Schisandra, Violet flowers, Elderberry or Elderflower, Hawthorn, St Johns Wort, Nettle and Marshmallow.
To start you will want to make sure you have plenty of fresh lemons, local raw honey, fresh water and herbs on hand. The following proportions make approximately 1 gal of lemonade. Adjust to taste and your needs.
1 qt strong herbal infusion - Boil 1 qt water, and pour over herbs in a glass jar. Make sure you make it strong enough for the flavors to come through in the lemonade. For lavender- 1 c dried lavender flowers for a 1 qt of infusion. Best to let these sit for 30 min or more, depending on your herb choice. 4-6 hrs is better for hardier herbs like fruits, roots or barks, or if you want to take advantage of mineral rich infusions of nettle or oatstraw. Always cover aromatic infusions to keep the flavors in the infusion!
4 lemons- Juice four fresh lemons. I like to use a citrus juice reamer, but other juice squeezers or your hands work well. Catch the seeds in a mesh strainer.
1/2- 1 cup raw honey- I like to use raw honey as a sweetener. Yes it will still have the effects of sugar on the body, and may not be appropriate for all people. You can use stevia if you wish, to sweeten and avoid sugar. Or use a little honey and little stevia. Experiment with how sweet you like it.
3 qts Clean cool water
In a gallon container, strain your herbal infusion, add your honey or stevia and mix well. Add juice of 4 lemons, and fill to the top with additional water. Cool, and serve with a garnish of sliced lemon!
Try this with limes too- mmmm minty limeade!