a quick easy and refreshing lemonade you can make at home
Yesterday was the first day of the tennis at Wimbledon. Whilst the weather held out, it is set to bucket it down for the rest of the week and I expect that the umbrellas will be out in force.
However, what would a British summer be without an umbrella and some soggy bunting?
Despite this, we will not be deterred from our picnics and alfresco lunches. We shall have flowers in our hair, and also in our salads (no soggy sandwiches for us) … and we can also make the most delicious drinks made from flower infusions too.
This recipe makes the most of English lavender for a refreshing lemonade. Lavender is a great pairing with lemon and makes a delightful infused lemonade with a mesmerising colour and aroma.
Last weekend, I was fortunate to cater for an event at Demuths Cookery School in Bath. It was a 7 course fine dining menu and we started the evening off with lavender cocktails. The base of the martini was this delicious lavender lemonade topped up with either Prosecco or sparking water.
We used lavender from Rachel Demuth’s garden as stirrers for the martini.
PRO CHEF TIPS
I used English lavender for the base of this recipe but you could use French lavender which has a milder sweeter flavour. When using lavender in any recipe, it is best to exercise caution since if you over infuse it, or use too much of it, it will be overpowering.
When choosing your lavender, ensure that you know its provenance. If buying, ensure you choose culinary lavender or better still, grow it yourself. That way you can ensure that it hasn't been sprayed with any nasty chemicals.
This is best served chilled or over ice.
Makes 1 and a half litres
1 tablespoon dried English lavender buds
250 ml (1 cup) hot water
1.25 litres (5 cups) cold water
4 lemons, juiced
3 - 4 tablespoons agave syrup or raw honey to taste
Make a lavender tisane by pouring a cup of almost boiling water over the lavender flowers. Leave to brew for 7 minutes. Strain the tisane through a tea strainer or nut milk bag to remove the lavender flowers and reserve the tisane.
Transfer the lavender tisane to a jug and add the cold water.
This is the theatrical bit - add the lemon juice and watch the lemonade turn from a dark purple to bright pink. Add agave syrup or honey to taste.
Serve over ice and with a bit of a flourish.