Monday, 27 April 2015

Homemade Lavender Lemonade Recipe

Another sunny day! I recently tasted a locally produced shop bought lavender lemonade from a local cafe, and was delighted by its unique combination of relaxing and refreshing. 

I was inspired to make my own following a recipe shared with me by one of my lovely social media connections @blessing_beads. It looked so easy and a great way to make use of my dried lavender supplies so I decided to make my own version. It turned out beautifully and with many requests now for the recipe I am sharing it here for all to enjoy.

Ingredients to make 1 litre jug (serves 3-4, simply double or triple to make more):

1-2 teaspoons dried lavender (to taste delicate - 1 tsp, strong - 2 tsp, use in tablespoons for fresh herb, more lavender colour if using more, of course), 1 litre water, 2 fresh lemons, honey to sweeten (or try stevia or plant based syrup for vegan alternative), tray of ice cubes, optional fresh mint or edible flowers for garnish & LOVE.

1. Make a lovely lavender flowers infusion. Stir in 1-2 heaped teaspoons according to taste to a cup or mug of boiled water. Cover with a saucer to keep the aromatic oils from evaporating off and infuse for 15-20min. Strain off the herb and allow the liquid to completely cool.

Lavender is a herbal natural remedy to soothe nerves, ease headaches, aid unsettled sleep, insomnia, calm the spirit. It also has anti inflammatory and antiseptic benefits, so not just a pretty face and beautiful scent. It has many applications internally and externally, but note that a little goes a long way. 

I add just a pinch to herbal tea blends (no more than 5-10%) for an added chill factor, to promote unwinding and relaxation. Just watching them float in the water while they infuse is a meditation in itself. Treat yourself a clear glass mug, cafetiere or teapot for this purpose.

2. Add 2-3 tablespoons of honey to suit your taste. Locally sourced raw honey is ideal if you can get it for additional therapeutic actions to support digestive, detoxifying and energy producing processes. Add it to the lavender infusion while it is still warm to dissolve it in easier, but not straight off the boil to help preserve its beneficial enzymes.

Most honeys are already pre-heated to high temperatures to strain off residues so you don't need to wait for the water temperature to cool if its not raw. Check with your producer to find out if you aren't sure. Small scale producers are less likely to do this, so pick some up at your local farmers' market. You can also taste the difference.

3. Slice 1 of the lemons into quarters and squeeze out the juice, straining it into a jug to remove the seeds and press out the pulp with the back of a spoon to extract all the juice.

4. Add the lavender honey infusion to the lemon juice.

5. Slice the lemon for garnish and add to the jug with a tray of ice cubes to cool and top up with water to make a litre's volume. 

You can simply put in the fridge to cool if you don't have ice, or pour into a sealed container secured by rocks in a cool stream for a while if you're out in the wild.

6. Add springs of mint if you wish. I tried this and found the strong mint flavour took away from the subtle taste of lavender, so preferred to garnish with a few foraged edible flower heads growing near me. 

Check out what's available where ever you might be located. I took this batch outside with me to enjoy while reading my book under the blossoming cherry trees in the park, so a cherry blossom garnish gave it an extra delightful touch of love.

There you have it... 

Sweet, simple and soothing sunny day refreshment, without the preservatives and the refined or artificial sweeteners of many shop bought versions, and made by your own fair hand makes it taste like something else. Make fresh batches as required. You can make up a pot or two of lavender infusion up to a day in advance for larger volumes. Cheers!

I'd love to hear your thoughts, how you liked it if you give this a try at home, or to receive your favourite tips how you make your own homemade lemonade extra special. You're welcome to comment below the blog or leave a note on any of the links below.

To your flourishing health and well being,
Fiona Morris 
Herbalist & Holistic Therapist

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