Lavender lemonade is as much of a tea as it is a fantastic party beverage. It is created by steeping and herb for a period of time, and then adding accents (i.e. sugar and lemon.) The drink comes out a powerful hot pink, and is the perfect beverage for lazing on your porch and watching the world go by.
I originally discovered lavender lemonade when I was about sixteen or seventeen. I came across an image of a viciously purple drink in a tall glass pitches, with bright yellow lemon slices floating amongst the lavender liquid. It was enticing and looked downright delicious.
I’ve never been able to crack the secret of a perfectly purple potion with lavender lemonade (the only explanation I could come up with is a few drops of blue food coloring, or a creative photo filter), but that’s okay, because this hot pink drink is better than any country-style pink lemonade I’ve ever had!
Lavender lemonade makes one half-gallon pitcher (about 8 cups)
-1/4 c lavender buds (yes, it’s a lot, but the flavor will be cut my the lemon and the sugar.)
-1 c. lemon juice (if you have lemons, great. If you have Meyer lemons, even better. If you have bottled lemon juice, I’m not going to bite your head off, but you should aim for fresh squeezed. Its so much better)
-1 c. sugar (of if you need it, artificial sweetener; But sugar, real sugar tastes infinitely better.)
– 7 1/2 c. water (always use a smidge more to account for evaporation in the pot)
-Pour your water into a large pot and bring your water to a near-boil. Toss your lavender buds in and turn the heat down to a very low simmer. Let the buds steep loose in the water for 20 minutes, giving the water a bit of a stir whenever you pass by.
-When your 20 minutes are up, remove your infusion from the heat and stick a strainer or cheesecloth over top of your pitcher. Pour in your water, straining out the lavender buds. Toss your blooms in the trash, since they’ve now given up their floral goodness.
*Note: Your lavender water will look terrible. It will look brown and grey and purple all at once. Don’t panic. This is normal*
-Add in your sugar while the lavender water is still hot. Stir vigorously to dissolve.
-Mix in your 1c. lemon juice and cover. Chill for 1-2 hours before serving over ice.
I’ve always loved a garnish of a lemon slice and a single lavender sprig. Go outside and plop down in your favorite lawn chair, and enjoy!