I have really been enjoying playing around with different seasonal flavor combinations for the series of cocktail recipes that I have been sharing over on the Free People blog BLDG 25. This is my second post in my 5-part Summer Mocktail series for Free People.
I have been letting what I find at the market determine the drinks, instead of the other way around. I had been thinking up some type of twist on the standard “Arnold Palmer” of tea and lemonade, which we love over here. I wanted it to be brighter, more colorful and featuring a seasonal fruit. When I saw the blackberries I instantly knew that was the way to go. Not only will this quench the thirstiest of thirsts, but it is such a beautiful and bright color, to boot!
The delicate aromatics from the lavender, paired with the pleasant tartness from the lemons and the blackberries is absolute perfection and sure to please anyone on a hot summer day. I decided to use my go-to sweeteners for this since I prefer to not use refined sugar, but you can feel free to substitute whatever sugar or sugar-alternative you desire. I also go light on the sweetness since I prefer my lemonade drinks to be on the tart side. Make sure to taste and sweeten to your own liking. If you are looking to make this into an alcoholic beverage, simply add in 1 shot of your favorite vodka, stir and enjoy!
[print_this]Blackberry Lavender Lemonade
- 1/2 cup dried culinary lavender
- 5 cups water
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup maple syrup (raw honey, agave or raw sugar will also work)
- 1 cup freshly squeeze lemon juice (about 6-8 lemons)
- 4-6 teaspoons maple sugar (you can also use raw sugar or any other sugar of your choice)
- 6 ounces fresh blackberries
Bring 5 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat, stir in the lavender and reduce the heat. Partially cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Strain the lavender tea over a strainer or through cheesecloth, pressing down to get out as much liquid as you can, discard the lavender. Pour the liquid into a large pitcher. Stir in maple syrup, honey or whatever sweetener you are using, until it has dissolved. I prefer my lemonade on the tart side so I only used 1/4 cup of maple syrup, but feel free to use as much as you would like. Let cool. Once cooled, add the lemon juice to the pitcher and give it a good stir. Taste to see if it needs more sweetener or if you want to add some water to dilute it a little.
To serve, place 5 to 8 blackberries and 1 teaspoon of sugar in each glass. Muddle. Pour the lemonade mixture over to fill the glass about 2/3 of the way full, give it a stir, then top with ice. Garnish with lemon slices pressed into some dried lavender, or add a fresh sprig of lavender if you have it.
*For an alcoholic cocktail, add in a shot of vodka [/print_this]