Hump Day Happy Hour: Lemonade with a Twist

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.

Lemon balm, which looks a lot like mint, growing in this unusually warm spring weather.

Lemonade with a Twist

Simple syrup (recipe below)
1 cup fresh lemon juice
3 cups water
approximately 1 dozen large lemon balm leaves

Lemon Balm after it has been chiffonaded. Yea, its not a pretty sounding verb.

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.

Simple Syrup

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.

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5 responses to “Hump Day Happy Hour: Lemonade with a Twist

  1. Woohoo. This weekend is going to be Mojito weekend! 🙂

  2. I love this! I’m book marking for when the weather warms up and I can sip a nice big glass of this on my front porch!!

  3. I will have to try and find one of these plants. I have mint and rubbarb in my backyard, they are always useful 🙂

  4. I say a little vodka added would be fantastic. I am sure you all wils agree..

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