Here’s a light and refreshing lemonade that you’ll love during the dog days of summer. If you are lucky to have some “organic” culinary lavender growing in your yard, harvesting this fragrant herb is a simple as taking a few steps from the back door. Otherwise, you’ll often find it for sale at a local Farmer’s Market.
According to most experts, the preferred variety of culinary lavender used in cooking is Lavandula augustifolia. It is prized for its sweet fragrance. While leaves and stems are edible, most cooks use the flower buds for infusing flavor into their favorite dishes. A little goes a long way where lavender is concerned and this lemonade recipe is no exception. More is not necessarily better. You are essentially going for a very light herbal infusion.
To dry lavender, snip the stems off the plant just after the flowers open, hanging them upside down until the buds and stems dry. This recipe uses a lavender-infused sugar base, and you can use either fresh flowers or dried flowers.
- 1 Tablespoon of fresh or dried lavender flowers
- 1 cup white, granulated sugar
- 2 cups of boiling water
- 1½ cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 cups or more of cold water
- Choose fresh lavender from the garden and cut the blossoms off from the stems. Or, if using dried lavender, about 1 Tablespoon will typically be plenty for flavoring the lemonade.
- Place white sugar in a clear glass bowl and mix in the lavender flowers. Stir well to combine.
- Pour 2 cups of boiling water over the sugar mixture and stir until sugar dissolves. Allow the lavender buds to continue to steep in this syrup for at least 30 minutes, but not more than 3 hours.
- Using a strainer, pour the sugar syrup into a large pitcher.
- Add lemon juice.
- Add another 2 cups of very cold water. You can adjust the tartness of the finished lemonade by adding more sugar or more lemon juice, depending on your preference.
- Serve with ice and garnish each glass with a sprig of fresh lavender.