I love Lemonade! There’s just something so special about the sweet citrussy drink that makes it one of the best ‘all year round’ treats. Some of my happiest memories are packing up picnics on summers day with a huge bottle of homemade lemonade and enjoying it on a hillside somewhere. Since spring is just round the corner, I thought it high time I revisited lemonade in anticipation for flinging open my windows to let all the winter mustiness escape.
I’ve also got to say this particular recipe is in part inspired by a friend of mine who visited and tried an amazing lavender lemonade in Hawaii. I’ve not tried Ali’i Kula‘s lemonade, but I’m quietly confident my own recipe will live up to her expectations!
And why’s that? Because this recipe is so SIMPLE! Using all natural ingredients, and no more sugar than absolutely necessary. I can whip up a batch of this stuff in minutes and it never fails to impress! Whilst lavender is an unusual flavour to enjoy in a drink, its subtle floral qualities really compliment the bright and powerful lemon. This drink tastes and smells fantastic.
I originally started making lemonade for myself as an alternative to shop bought (read as, I wanted to control the amount of sugar I put in and leave it out altogether occasionally) when I was a teenager. Since then, this recipe has adapted a lot and I highly recommend trying it as an alcoholic drink. Lavender Liqueur is an unusual staple I always keep close by. Not only is it perfect for this recipe, but the flavours work gorgeously in a ‘Bees Knees’, or as an alternative alcohol in the classic ‘Aviation’.
If you’re reading this and those two cocktails aren’t hyperlinked – remind me to stop being so lazy and write them up as blog posts, because I cannot wait to share them with you.
- 4 Whole Lemons
- 100 g Caster Sugar
- 100 ml Still Water
- 700 ml Sparkling Water
- Lavender Liqueur OPTIONAL
For the Lavender Simple Syrup (optional - can be shop bought or swapped for Liqueur)
- 1/2 tbsp Dried Lavender Flowers
- 100 ml Water
- 50 g Caster Sugar
Zest around 1/2 of one lemon into a small pan.
Onto the zest, squeeze (by hand or by machine) the juices from 4 whole lemons, taking care to remove any pips or pith.
Add 100g of caster sugar and 100mls of water to the pan. Place on a medium heat and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Remove from the heat.
Combine concentrated lemonade syrup with a lavender syrup in a large jug with two generous handfuls of ice, and top up with sparkling water. Garnish with slices of lemons.
[OPTIONAL] Top with around 250ml of Lavender Liqueur to make this an alcoholic 'hard' lemonade.
[OPTIONAL] Prepare your Lavender simple syrup, simply combine the flowers, water and sugar on a medium heat for 3-5 minutes until completely combined. Then leave to infuse for a further 15 minutes, before straining.
NOTE - if Lavender Liqueur is used, Lavender syrup is not necessary, and vice versa. I personally prefer the alcoholic version of this recipe.