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.
Recipe courtesy of Janice Silva of Green Acres Lavender Farm
Updated from post originally published October 2006.
(Image credits: Leela Cyd)