Saturday, August 6, 2011

Lovely Lavender Lemonade

Here we are in the height of summer and picnic season.  People are camping, fishing, exploring national parks and on many corners of quiet family streets you'll find lemonade stands.  I found a delicious lavender lemonade recipe that I thought I'd share with you.  This recipe comes from the book "An Unthymely Death And Other Garden Mysteries" by author Susan Wittig Albert.  She writes about herbal shop owner China Bayles who also just happens to solve mysteries that occur in her little town of Pecan Springs, Texas.  China collects and shares many lovely herbal recipes and crafts in the many books Susan Witting Albert has written about China and her escapades, and this lemonade recipe is worthy of sharing!  I hope you will enjoy this cool, refreshing summer beverage that comes from Texas.  This recipe might just be the hit at the neighborhood lemonade stand this summer!

For the Lavender-Hibiscus Syrup:
2 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup dried red hibiscus flowers
1 tbsp. dried lavender flowers

For the Lemonade:
3 cups very cold water
1 1/2 cups fresh-squeezed lemon juice (8 large lemons)
1/2 cup sugar (optional
thin lemon slices, for garnish
fresh lavender sprigs, for garnish (optional)

To make the syrup:
In a medium saucepan combine the 2 1/2 cups of water and the 1 1/2 cups of sugar.  Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.  Add hibiscus flowers, reduce heat and simmer for 2 - 3 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in lavender flowers.  Cover and let steep until cool.  Strain hibiscus-lavender syrup into a jar and chill.  Make lemonade in your prettiest clear glass pitcher and stir in the chilled syrup.  If you like it tart, this will be fine.  If you have a sweet tooth, add another 1/2 cup of sugar and stir briskly to dissolve.  Garnish with lemon slices and sprigs of lavender and enjoy!

If you have a special lemonade recipe that you'd be willing to share, please tell us about it!  I would love to hear your creative lemonade ideas!

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