It’s SUMMER! It’s hot, hazy and humid! Why not cool off with these refreshing, easy-to-make ‘herbal lemonades’? There are many options for using herbs from the garden or local farmers markets to create delicious, cooling beverages (alcoholic or non-alcoholic). Think Mints, Lemon Verbena, Lemon Balm, Lavender, Anise Hyssop, or Chamomile to start with.
Here are two of my favourites:
Lemony-Lemonade with Lemon Balm
A simple lemonade but even more tasty with the added flavour of lemon balm!
Enjoyed by children and adults alike. Serve well-chilled. Lemon balm (melissa officinalis) is one of my best green allies for
so many reasons. Check out Lemon Balm here.
1/2 cup fresh lemon balm leaves
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup boiling water
2 1/2 cups water
Perrier or sparkling water (optional)
2 -3 fresh sprigs lemon balm, to decorate
- Wash the lemons well.
- Carefully peel the rind , avoiding the white pith.
- Set aside the lemons.
- Place the lemon balm leaves, the lemon rind, and the sugar into a small heat-proof container.
- I use Mason jars as I always have them on hand.
- Pour the boiling water into the jar (if using) or heat-proof pitcher and stir well, crushing the lemon balm leaves to release their flavour.
- Leave mixture to infuse for about 15 minutes.
- Now, cut the lemons in half and squeeze out the juice.
- Strain juice into a large glass pitcher and add the cooled, strained syrup.
- Add a few fresh sprigs of lemon balm,
Top up with water or half-water half-ice, and chill until ready to serve, or add to some Perrier or your preferred ‘sparkling water’.
1/4 cup dried Lavender
2 cups boiling water
3/4 cup honey
Use a Mason jar or pitcher to serve
Place the Lavender blossoms in the jar and cover with boiling water.
Let steep for 10 minutes then strain.
Cut the lemons in half.
Use a citrus juice extractor (I love my ol’ glass one!) or use a ‘citrus reamer’ ~ ok.. Get the juice out of the lemons and into the jar!Add the lavender infusion and the honey to the lemon juice in the jar.
Fill the jar (or pitcher etc) with cold water.
Add ice cubes.