Minted Lemonade: Recipe for a Perfect Summer Drink

mintlemonade

In my opinion, two of the quintessential flavors of summer are lemon and mint. And when combined, they create a harmonious flavor combination that is bright and sunny. One of my favorite summer recipes is homemade lemonade, a tasty tonic. Lemons provide us with healthful amounts of Vitamin C and potassium. And mint is, among many other things, uplifting, breath-freshening and soothing for the digestive system.

Homemade minted lemonade is simple to make, requiring just 4 ingredients! Here’s my recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1 cup organic evaporated cane sugar
  • 2 cups freshly squeezed, strained lemon juice
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 4 cups of filtered water

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Combine the sugar and 1 cup of water in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved and the liquid is clear. Set aside to cool.

Peppermint (Mentha piperita)

Place the lemon juice in a large pitcher with the mint leaves (you can crush some of the leaves to release a bit more mint flavor).

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Add the remaining water to the lemon and mint, then sweeten to taste with the simple syrup. Refrigerate for at least one hour to allow the flavors to blend.

Enjoy!

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How to Make Rose Petal Lemonade

The antique tea roses as well as wild roses in my yard are in full bloom. They look so beautiful I want to eat them. And, fortunately, I can since I don’t use any chemical pesticides in my garden. In the past, I have made cold strawberry rose petal soup and rose petal jelly. This time, I thought I would try making a beverage out of the blossoms. Inspired by a cold glass of lavender lemonade I had at J. Chocolatier in Georgetown yesterday, I thought I would try making my own version using roses.

I picked the freshest-looking blooms in the late morning, after the dew had dried from them, choosing a mixture of antique tea and wild roses for a greater depth of flavor. I removed the stems and stamens, and tossed any petals that looked brown on the edges. In total, I collected enough petals to loosely pack 1 measuring cup.

I placed the petals in a pyrex bowl and covered them with 2 cups of boiling water. I allowed the petals to steep for 30 minutes.

While the rose petals were steeping, I thought it would be fun to make some embedded rose ice cubes. I used a silicone gem-shaped ice cube tray that I had bought a while ago, but never opened. It seemed like a great girly-girl touch for my lemonade.

I also made some simple syrup from this New York Times recipe using organic Fair Trade sugar, then set it in the refrigerator to cool.

Once the rose petals were finished steeping, I strained the liquid through a cheesecloth into a measuring cup and placed it in the refrigerator to cool for an hour.

After an hour had passed, I squeezed the juice of 3 lemons through a strainer into the rose petal tea. I stirred in the cooled simple syrup, added the rose petal ice cubes, and voila! Rose petal lemonade – a perfect summer drink.

Love That Lavender

Image from Taste of Home

Image copyright Taste of Home

In a previous post, I sang the praises of lavender. It is my favorite herb because of its wonderful scent and versatility. Here are some enjoyable uses for lavender flowers:

  • Wrap a handful of the dried lavender flowers in a square of light cloth, such as cheese cloth. This versatile sachet can be tucked into your pillowcase for a soothing night’s sleep, or tossed in your dryer to scent your clothing!
  • For a fun treat, add 1 tablespoon of dried culinary-grade lavender flowers to sugar cookie dough, then bake as usual.
  • For a delicious, soothing tea, place one heaping tablespoon of lavender flowers in a tea pot, then fill with boiling water. Let steep for about ten minutes.
  • Make lavender sugar by blending 1 cup of sugar with 2 tablespoons of culinary-grade lavender in a food processor 2 tablespoons dried lavender flowers. Store in an airtight container and enjoy in baking or beverages.
  • You can make lavender lemonade by pouring 1 cup of boiling water over 2 tablespoons of dried lavender flowers, then steeping it for 10 minutes. Strain the flowers, and stir in 1 cup of sugar until it dissolves. Let the lavender/sugar mixture cool, then add the juice of 6 lemons (about 1 cup), and 4 cups of cold water. Serve over ice with a sprig of lavender!

If you want to make them from scratch, Taste of Home has a wonderful lavender cookie recipe, and Purple Haze Lavender Farm has some other great lavender recipes.