It’s no secret that Ruth and I enjoy imbibing delicious adult beverages, but occasionally everyone needs a thirst quenching, alcohol free recipe for a baby shower or for a bit of variety at your next backyard BBQ. For those times lemonade with a twist is the answer.
This recipe can be made with any number of herbs – like mint, basil, or rosemary. I personally like lemon balm because it is A) growing in my mother’s backyard and B) I love the flavor. Lemon balm looks a lot like mint and smells exactly like lemon when crushed. However the taste has hints of mint and citrus (I say hints of lime, others say hints of lemon). Whether you use lemon balm or basil, you will have a tasty refreshing drink for any occasion.
Lemonade with a Twist
Simple syrup (recipe below)
1 cup fresh lemon juice
3 cups water
approximately 1 dozen large lemon balm leaves
Combine simple syrup, lemon juice, and water in a pitcher and place in fridge to chill. Just before serving, chiffonade the lemon balm leaves and add to the lemonade along with ice.
1/2 cup sugar
zest of one lemon
1/2 cup lemon balm leaves, packed
1 cup water
Place lemon zest, torn lemon balm leaves, and sugar in a small bowl. Using a pestle, grind ingredients together.
Pour water into a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Pour sugar mixture into the boil water and stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Simmer for 5-8 minutes, remove from heat, and let steep for additional 15 minutes.
Using a cheese cloth (or a coffee filter) strain simple syrup to remove the spent leaves and zest. Use immediately or store in an air tight container in the fridge.