Lavender Lemonade is a delicious way to use lavender, which is in full, glorious bloom all over our property right now. The gorgeous shades of purple are a beautiful sight, and the fragrance is heavenly. But, did you know, that lovely lavender is also useful in the kitchen sometimes, as well? Lavender is a herb, and like any herb, you can use it to flavour dishes. It has a sweet-sour flavour similar to caraway seeds.
Culinary Lavender vs Ornamental Lavender
There is no difference between culinary lavender and regular lavender. It's all edible. The concern is how it's been processed or grown. So you don't want to eat what's in those little sachets in your underwear drawer, or the potpourri jar. Because who knows where that came from? It's probably best not to use plants that are grown strictly for landscaping. Since they are grown just for ornamental purposes, they may have been treated with chemicals.
We grow all of the plants on our property organically and never spray them, so we can safely consume our lavender. But, If you don't have lavender in your garden, look for dried lavender labelled for culinary use, or buy an organically grown plant. Or find a friend who has a plant, and ask for a couple of sprigs. Then share a glass of lemonade with them. That's a pretty nice payoff, right?
Lavender has a long history of usefulness in many ways. It has been used over the ages for medicinal, therapeutic, decorative, cosmetic and culinary purposes. Its origins are Mediterranean, but the plant is very hardy and grows well anywhere where there's a lot of summer heat, and dry temperatures. It's perennial (meaning, it will keep popping back up every spring) where the winters aren't fiercely cold. This gorgeous purple shrub is also drought tolerant and it thrives in poor soils. For more info on the wonders of lavender, check out Lavender on Encyclopedia.com.
Lavender + Lemon = Lavender Lemonade
Since lavender, in a culinary way, works especially well with lemon, of course, it's perfect for lemonade. Lemonade is the ultimate summer refreshment. And when you add lavender, that lemonade turns extra special. A little goes a long way with lavender, and because of its sweetness, I find I can use less sugar in my lemonade. So if sugary drinks are not your thing, you will love this recipe as is. But if you like it a little sweeter, just increase the sugar in your simple syrup.
Squeezing lemons can be labour intensive for making lemonade. But I have a citrus juicer, which not only takes all the work out of it but actually uses every drop of lemon juice. I love it. I use way fewer lemons for the same amount of juice. It also works for any citrus. Fresh squeezed orange juice, anyone? This one was a Christmas gift one year, but if you want to get one, it's an awesome ( and pretty inexpensive) addition to your kitchen gadgets.
Now: To Make Your House Smell Amazing
This lemonade starts with a lavender-infused simple syrup. This is going to fill your whole house (or at least your kitchen) with beautiful lavender fragrance. That's a bonus with this recipe. The rest is your everyday lemonade, just fresh lemon juice and water. Of course, you could add some vodka for an adult beverage. (When life gives you lemons....add vodka). And if you want to try more lavender in your kitchen, check out Lavender Yogurt Cake or Lavender Scones.
Lavender Lemonade – Lemonade Recipe
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 ½ cups water
- 6 sprigs lavender
- 2 cups fresh lemon juice 6-10 lemons, depending on size
- 6 cups cold water
- Ice cubes
- Make the simple syrup: In a pot, combine sugar, water and lavender, stir and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool completely, steeping about 30 minutes after cooling.
- Strain and discard lavender.
- In a pitcher, combine the simple syrup, lemon juice, water, and ice.
- Serve with lavender sprigs for garnish