One thing being pregnant has taught me: most of the time, the non-alcoholic drink options suck. Restaurants and bars that pride themselves on their innovative cocktails often come up short on the non-alcoholic side, offering perhaps a couple artisanal sodas or a too-sweet lemonade. And if I want anything beyond water or Coke at friends' parties, I've learned to bring it myself.
So when I started planning a baby shower for a friend, I knew from the start that the non-alcoholic drink option had to feel as special as everything else on the menu. This tart, refreshing, lightly floral lemonade made with lavender blossoms was exactly what I was looking for.
I discovered this recipe from the earliest years of The Kitchn — a lavender lemonade from a lavender farmer in California, shared by Stacie, a past contributor, way back in 2006. It seemed like the perfect non-alcoholic sip for a sophisticated spring baby shower, so we decided to share it afresh with you.
You start with a simple syrup of sugar, water and lavender blossoms, steeped briefly for a light lavender flavor, or a couple hours for a more pronounced but not overwhelming floral taste. Mixed with freshly squeezed lemon juice and water, the syrup turns plain old lemonade into a much more special drink, one that is fragrant and a little unexpected, but still thoroughly refreshing.
Mix up a batch for your next warm weather party, sunny picnic, or casual Sunday afternoon on the porch. Teetotaling or not, your friends will thank you.
Makes about 1 1/2 quarts
1 cup sugar
5 cups water, divided
1 tablespoon dried lavender flowers
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Lavender sprigs for garnish
Combine sugar with 1 cup water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Add lavender blooms to the sugar water, cover, and remove from heat. Let stand at least 2 minutes, or up to 2 hours.
Strain the mixture and discard the lavender. Pour the infusion into a glass pitcher. Add lemon juice and another 4 cups water. Stir.
Pour into glasses over ice or refrigerate until ready to drink. Garnish with lavender sprigs if desired.