I realize that the thought of making lemonade from scratch seems like a lot of work, and it’s something simple you can buy at the store, BUT it’s worth it!! If you have never tried making lemonade at home, now is the time! Freshly made lemonade is incredibly bright and refreshing, you won’t ever want to have lemonade any other way. It’s like making homemade cookies, they just taste better. Well, it’s the same for homemade lemonade!
The best way to sweeten a cold drink is with simple syrup because it dissolves evenly in the liquid. One of my new favorite ways to experiment with drinks is to infuse flavor into a simple syrup. I made a basil flavored simple syrup recently that went very will in a strawberry basil margarita. I was inspired to make a lavender simple syrup when I had an amazing lavender lemonade cocktail on a trip to Ojai, California at the Ojai Valley Inn. In Michigan there is a place called “Lavender Hill Farms” that sells freshly grown lavender along with a number of lavender based products. This lavender was the perfect addition to my simple syrup recipe. It makes it turn a purple color that actually turns pink when added to the lemon juice!
Freshly squeezed lemon juice is combined with some water, ice, and the lavender simple syrup to create a perfect homemade lemonade. The sweetness level of the lemonade can be adjusted by the amount of simple syrup added. This drink can be made even more special by turning it into a cocktail. I like to add a little bit (as much as you like) of vodka.
- 1¼ cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons lavender
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- lavender springs for extra decoration; optional
- extra lemon slices for decoration; optional
- *Place the sugar and water into a pan and stir together over medium heat until the sugar dissolves
- *Place the lavender into the pan and stir together
- *Once the mixture starts to lightly boil turn the heat down to a simmer
- *Simmer the mixture together for about 10 minutes
- *Allow it to cool
- *Juice the lemons to get 1¼ cup of lemon juice
- *Combine the lemon juice with 4 cups of water
- *The lavender simple syrup will yield about 1 cup; add ¾ cup of it to the lemon juice/water mixture
- *If you would like it sweeter you can add the other ¼ cup!
- *Add ice and serve
- *To make this a cocktail simply add as much vodka as you like...start with a shot and go from there