So, I know it is still winter, and even here in Phoenix temperatures are staying a bit chilly and cloudy, but instead of a hot drink this week I have a drink we made to use up some of the delicious, in season produce
Citrus is actually a HUGE part of Arizona’s economy and a highlight of winter is always the plentiful oranges and lemons (and I guess grapefruit if you’re into that… I’m not usually…) so when we were offered lots of lemons and oranges from family and from our CSA basket, we gratefully accepted. I used some of the lemons we received in hot water in the mornings when my stomach could handle it, but what we were really excited to try was lavender lemonade!
We made sure to boil the lemon juice before using, something we usually do anyway but made sure of as an extra precaution for my pregnancy. I had lavender left over from and earlier baking project and we decided to try out the lemonade with classic simple upup, infusing the lavender in the sugar and hot water mixture. The mixture needed time to cool and steep to get the lavender flavor so that was the most time consuming/complicated part. We also needed to use a cheesecloth to strain out the excess lavender pieces.
We started out with this basic recipe:
For the simple syrup:
2 cups water
1/2 Cups Sugar
1/4 Cup Honey
3.5 Tbs. Dried lavender
After the simple syrup we made, we added it to about 2.5 cups of lemon juice (this was only a fraction of what we had… seriously, lemons are so plentiful right now!) and then filled up the rest of our lemonade pitcher with water and combined with the simple syrup.
The lemonade came out quite tart, but that was delicious to me since sugary sweet things have made me sick all pregnancy. Funny enough, all things lemon, and especially lemonade, were my biggest and really only craving when pregnant with my son. I haven’t had a specific craving for them this time around, but it has definitely been a reliable flavor and smell for helping with my nausea so that’s still a pretty big win! Still, I understand that not everybody will have my craving for the super tart- so I let my husband add some more simple syrup after the fact to balance the flavors a bit more. Many of the recipes I looked up online suggested adding food coloring to make it look more lavender but we prefer to stay a bit more natural whenever possible. Maybe I’d reconsider if we were throwing a themed party of some sort! I also recommend mixing this lemonade with a splash or cranberry juice or some la croix to make it sparkle, or both!! That’s what I’ve been doing instead of resorting to more simple syrup 🙂