Strawberry Lavender Lemonade
Strawberry Lavender Lemonade is going to be your new favorite summer drink. Imagine a refreshing glass of ice-cold lemonade infused with the sweet flavor of strawberries and natural aroma of lavender. If you are looking for a simple version, make sure to check out my homemade lemonade recipe too!Strawberry Lavender LemonadeThere is something so amazing about a freshly squeezed glass of ice-cold lemonade. Lemonade stands are all the rage during the hot summer months in Minnesota. You can literally find them popping up around every corner. Usually, it is a small child with an entrepreneurial spirit, a folding table, and a jug of powdered lemonade mix. Still amazing, but not quite what we are talking about here. My all-time favorite place to pick up a glass of the real-deal, freshly-squeezed, lemonade is at the Minnesota State Fair. This year, I found out that they were debuting a new Strawberry Lavender Lemonade. It made the list of the “top new food items to try” so I just knew I had to take a crack at it.Natural Benefits of LavenderWe grow lavender on our homestead, so I jump on any chance I get to use it in a recipe. This beautiful little purple herb has a number of non-cooking benefits too! For example, the flower and the oil of lavender are used as a:Medicine that can treat anxiety, fatigue, and general body aches, and pains.Frangrance enhancer in soaps, perfumes, and lotions.Aromatherapy in teas and smelling oils.Pollinator for attracting bees.Skincare solution in cleansers, toners, and moisturizers.How to Select the Perfect LavenderLavender comes in many different forms and varieties. You can buy it fresh, dried, or in an oil. For this Strawberry Lavender Lemonade recipe, you will want to purchase a fresh culinary variety like English Lavender. I have found that some of the best places to purchase this particular variety are at nurseries, garden centers, and farmers markets. Make sure to purchase lavender with bright green stems and a handful of open purple flowers in full bloom. How to Make Strawberry Lavender LemonadeLike traditional lemonade, Strawberry Lavender Lemonade is relatively simple to make. The primary difference is that for this recipe we heat up the liquid in order to draw out the natural aroma and flavor of the lavender and strawberry.Start with a dutch oven or heavy bottom pot.Set dutch oven over medium heat and add the lemon juice, water, and sugar. Bring the pot to a boil.Once the sugar is completely dissolved, remove it from the heat source.Drop in the lavender sprigs and the diced strawberries and then set a cover of the top of the dutch oven. This will trap in any remaining heat, allowing the flavors to combine.After about 15 minutes, strain the lavender and strawberries out of the mixture. Pour the remaining room temperature liquid over ice and serve!This is how the mixture looks after it has cooked. Although it is hard to tell from this picture (should have used a lighter-colored pot!) the juice is bright vibrant pink. I couldn’t resist trying it at this stage and was blown away by how delicious it is!To Add Ice or Not to Add IceThat may sound silly, but it is actually important. Have you ever made fresh lemonade and then added it to a pitcher of ice and 1/2 hour later it is diluted and blah? If you add 4 cups of ice you could potentially have up to 4 cups of water diluting your lemonade, which can definitely affect the flavor.Although I added ice to the pitcher in the images, that is not how I typically serve it. I usually make the lemonade and then serve it with cups of ice OR cups and an ice bucket. People usually drink the lemonade before all of their ice melts so they can enjoy the pure flavor.PRO TIP: You can make an extra batch of this lemonade and then freeze it in ice cube trays. Then, when you are ready to serve, use the lemonade ice cubes!Looking for More Summer Recipes?Summer Chicken SaladNo-Bake Caramel Shortbread PieFresh Strawberry PieTaco SaladStrawberry Lavender Lemonade is going to be your new favorite summer drink. Imagine a refreshing glass of ice-cold lemonade infused with the sweet flavor of strawberries and natural aroma of lavender. Course: Drinks Cuisine: American Keyword: Lemonade Servings: 8 Author: Amanda Rettke 4 medium lemons, juiced (about 1 cup) 1 cup granulated sugar 4 cups water 2 sprigs fresh lavender 1 cup strawberries, diced ice, crushed (as desired)Juice the lemons. Make sure to strain out any seeds or excessive pulp. Add lemon juice, sugar, and water to a dutch oven or heavy bottom pot. Stir to combine.Place the pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. (about 5 minutes depending on your oven)Once boiling, remove from heat and add lavender sprigs and strawberries. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes.When ready to serve, add ice to a large pitcher. Pour the room temperature lemonade mixture over ice. Serve. meet Amanda RettkeAmanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.