Monday, July 11, 2011

Unusual ingredients: Lavender Lemonade

I'm not generally a fan of lemonade. It's too sweet-tart for me, so I usually prefer just water on a hot day. Today was hot and humid, as Montreal summers tend to be, and in browsing through my bookmarked recipes, I came across Lavender Lemonade. Hmm... with lavender... could be interesting? And seemed quite simple to make. Certainly was warm enough for it... so I tried it out...

Lavender Lemonade
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon dried lavender buds
1 cup lemon juice
5 cups water

Combine sugar with 2 1/2 cups water in a pan. Heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add lavender buds to the syrup, cover, and remove from heat. Let steep for a few minutes (longer if a stronger scent is desired) then strain the mixture into a bowl with the lemon juice and another 2 1/2 cups water. Stir to combine and pour over ice or refrigerate until ready to serve. Optional: add a tiny amount of blue or purple food coloring to give a lavender tint to the drink.

I must say, I really liked this recipe. The lemonade was just sweet enough without being too puckery (though I did dilute my glass a bit with an extra splash of water) but it's simple enough for you to adjust to your tastes. The lavender was not so much a flavor as a scent... you got a whiff of it each time you went to take a sip, and by doing so could taste it in the lemonade. It goes surprisingly well with the lemon flavor, and adds a little something different to an otherwise ordinary drink. Would make a very nice addition to a summer picnic or brunch. In fact, all this talking about it is making me want another glass now!

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