Lavender lemonade! How refreshing does that sound?! It has been in my head since before school was out and I finally decided to make some. I’m not usually a big fan of lemonade. It can’t be made from a powder and it certainly can’t be too sweet. I did tons of research on how to make it before I started. And then had to research a little more when I finally came across food grade dried lavender. I mentioned I was making this to several people and they all looked at me funny. I guess lavender lemonade recipes are not something that a lot of people are looking for. I get that there is a fear that whatever the lavender is in might end up tasting a little soapy since that is how we know lavender. I love me some lavender soap and lotion. But I adore the herbal quality to it and thought it would bring a really cool “flava” to lemonade. And I just tried to turn lavender “street.”
Lavender lemonade is the perfect thing to bring to a summer picnic. I also brought it along on our duffy boat trip through Newport Harbor. I mean, you can’t JUST drink wine. That would be uncivilized. And if you actually drank it and didn’t forget that you brought it with you, it would probably prevent you from getting a severe hang over the next day. Not that I did…
So, I headed straight towards Mother’s Market (hippie town) looking for a lavender plant. In most of the lavender lemonade posts, people have these beautiful sprigs of lavender (see above photo. spoiler alert, I finally found some beautiful sprigs!) that I am guessing they fuss and fiddle with in order to make an infused simple syrup of some kind. Well, there were no beautiful plants to be found that day. Wait, I’m a liar. They had one plant that they brought out for me from the back that they “were trying to save” that they let me buy. But hold the phone, it didn’t look at all like the sprigs I had seen. Apparently there are different varieties of lavender plants. And we weren’t sure that it was food grade. Luckily they also sold the dried leaves in the spice section. You guys!
You’ll also need a crap load of lemons. And maybe some limes. I freaking love limes. Like, I love limes like I used to love the California raisins (not the fruit just the characters). I got one of those hand squeezer juicer things and it’s AWESOME! It makes juicing citrus super easy and you get the more out of the fruit than if you are doing it by hand. If you don’t have one, and you want to make lemonade, or margaritas, go get one (but not at Target. Apparently Target thinks these squeezer things are a luxury item and wants to charge you $12 for one. Uh, no. My grocery store had it for about $6. Come on Target, be cool.)
But these photos are a little misleading. Because if you are using the dried lavender, you really need to start this process the day before you want to make the lemonade. I know! What a pain! But worth it. Now, if you ARE making a simple syrup with the pretty sprigs, then you can do that the same day. I don’t like simple syrup. I think it makes everything too sweet. And I like really bold flavors so when you infuse the simple syrup, it is hard to get the flavor I like, without it turning too sweet. That and the fact that I still hadn’t found those dumb supermodel sprigs yet.
But I digress. So lavender “tea”. I took about 1 cup of water and 1 TBSP of dried lavender and put it in a mason jar. Then I shook it up a little and left it at room temperature overnight. In the morning, you’ve got lavender “tea”.
And THEN you are ready to make your lavender lemonade. So you need fresh squeezed citrus, lavender “tea,” raw honey and water. The sprigs above are purely decorative at this point. BTW I found the pretty sprigs at Trader Joe’s. But there was no telling if they were food grade or not. I’m wasn’t going to take any chances. I didn’t want my tombstone to say “She died, super relaxed, drinking lavender lemonade.” How much cooler if it said something like “She died valiantly while trying to defend the world from evil clowns.”
I was worried that the raw honey wouldn’t be a great choice for mixing in to liquids. But it worked great, actually. I just used a whisk and whisked for a short time and it blended right in. I also thought it might harden back into a solid when I put it in the fridge, but it didn’t. I’m a fan.
And there it is. A delicious lavender lemonade. Everyone drinks their lemonade differently so modify any of these recipes to suit your tastes! I think I may have put a little bit too much lime in mine. It was quite bitter. Which I didn’t hate, but it also wasn’t the taste I was going for.
Take a look at these recipes and find one that works for you!