To celebrate the first day of summer (and finally turning in my Visa application) I made an annual favorite drink of mine: lavender lemonade. I found this recipe on Use Real Butter back in 2012 here and have been tweaking it slightly since then. This slightly sweet drink is great over ice and best sipped on the back porch and/or stoop of your choice. Borrow one from a neighbor if you have to. My dad’s impressive herb garden yielded the lavender for this adventure.
- 1/4 cup lavender (edible; no pesticides and/or perfumes)
- 2 Cups boiling water
- 1 Cup sugar
- Six lemons
- Cold water or seltzer
- Ice (optional)
If you’re starting from homemade lavender, begin by picking your lavender (fending off a bumble bee if necessary) and removing the flowers from the stem (pinch the end between two fingers and pull downwards, it will dislodge them easily.) If you have culinary lavender that is already off of the stem, add them into a saucepan. Cover the lavender in boiling water and let simmer for twenty minutes with the heat off.
Meanwhile, zest two lemons and place in a bowl. After the lavender has steeped, add the sugar and lemon zest. Place on low heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Prepare your pitcher by adding ice. Juice all of the lemons thoroughly and add to the pitcher. Allow lavender mixture to cool completely, then strain out the zest and lavender flowers and transfer this mixture to the serving pitcher. Add water or seltzer to taste (I use about 3-5 cups of cold water.)
Pluck another lavender sprig and use as garnish, photograph if desired.