With the weather getting warmer and the days getting longer, it’s becoming all too tempting to lounge about on the porch all weekend with a good book in one hand and a cold drink in the other. In my current version of this scenario, that drink is a condensation-soaked glass of lemonade.
Lemonade is, perhaps, the most summery of all drinks and is both beloved by and appropriate for all ages. It’s sweet and a little bit sour and super easy to make. Seriously, when life hands you lemons, make lemonade.
Lemonade by itself is wonderful. I grew up on the trusty ol’ Country Time Lemonade mix made in big pitchers and with a higher-than-advised mix-to-water ratio, as I prefer my lemonade a bit on the sweeter side. This time, though, I think an additional flavor addition is in order: lavender, anyone?
Spokane is known as the Lilac City, and, at present, the purple clusters of petite flowers are in bloom all over the place. That said, I advise you book it up to Manito Park ASAP to take in the lilac garden up there; it’s gorgeous. Purple flowers are my inspiration for this lemonade. However, I don’t know that utilizing lilacs in a lemonade is altogether advisable (I’ll try it out another time), but I do love lavender, so lavender will be the purple flower of choice for this iteration. By tossing a tablespoon of lavender buds in with the simple syrup, the lemonade gets an gentle kiss of floral flavor and tones down the sourness of the lemons. Lavender and lemons: a match made in heaven (and some gardens).
Adapted from Simply Recipes
Makes 1.5 Quarts
1 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (from 3-4 large lemons)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbs. lavender buds
4-5 cups water
To Make the Lemonade:
In a small saucepan over high heat, combine the sugar, lavender buds, and one cup of water. Gently stir, and allow the sugar to completely dissolve. Continue heating the mixture until all of the sugar has dissolved and the lavender buds have turned a deep purple color. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer and into the pitcher.
Add the freshly squeezed lemon juice to the sugar mixture, and stir to combine. Add three cups of water and stir. If needed, add more water to adjust to your taste. Allow the lemonade to chill in the refrigerator, and serve over ice. Enjoy!