Recipe: Raspberry and Lavender Lemonade

drink2We are having an extended heat-wave in Melbourne just now, with temperatures above 30 for the last week and a bit, and continuing until late next week.  Combine this with grant applications at work, a broken food processor, and the fact that I’ve just been generally unwell this week, and the result is rather unimaginitive cooking by yours truly… when I can bring myself to cook at all.  I’m actually really desperate to do some baking, but I just can’t cope with this heat, and by the time I get home from work, I’m really too tired to consider it.

Hence, drinks.  The drinks section of this website has been a bit scant up until now, because my drink of choice is water, or if pressed, milk or occasionally orange juice.  But in this weather, I’m willing to venture further afield – and drinks, at least, don’t heat the house up too much.  True, this one involves making a syrup, but I promise you’ll only have the stove going for fifteen minutes, and if you do this in the morning, it won’t have much effect on the heat of the house…

Also, this is a lovely variation on lemonade.  For one thing, it’s pink!  For another, it is sweet, but not quite too sweet, and has a lovely herbal perfume from the lavender, which blends brilliantly with the raspberry (I know that sounds like bragging, but I’ve never achieved quite such a good synergy of flavours before).  For another, it’s cold and it’s liquid and have I mentioned that this weather is absolutely ghastly? 

Drink.  And then go for a swim, or find some air-conditioning.  Libraries are often good for this.  So are cinemas.  Even the supermarket will do in a pinch.  Whatever it takes to stay sane…

Your Shopping List (this makes about 2 litres of lemonade)

1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 tsp dried culinary lavender (or fresh, if you have a bush)
2 cups of water, plus 3 more cups later on.
1 cup lemon juice (from 5-6 lemons)
200 g raspberries (frozen and defrosted are probably best here)
 

Now what will you do with it?

Put the sugar, 2 cups of water and the lavender in a small saucepan, and heat gently until the sugar dissolves.  Bring to a rolling boil, reduce the heat, and then simmer for 2 minutes.  Leave to cool to room temperature.

Doesn't the lavender look beautiful floating above the water and sugar?

Doesn’t the lavender blossom look beautiful floating on the water, with the sugar below?

Put a seive over a jug, and strain the lavender syrup into it.

Squeeze the lemons directly into the jug of a blender.  Add the raspberries, and blend.  Add enough water to bring the total liquid in the blender to 1.25 litres (you will need about 3 cups) , and blend briefly to combine.

It looks like I murdered someone in this blender, but really, I didn't.

It looks like I murdered someone in this blender, but I promise I haven’t murdered anyone recently.  Especially not using a blender.

Pour the contents of the blender into the jug with the lavender syrup and stir well.  Chill before drinking.  (That means you as well as the lemonade).

lemonade

Variation

If you like your soft drinks fizzy, don’t add the water to the blender, but chill the raspberry-lemon mixture with the syrup until cold, and mix with 3 cups carbonated mineral water or soda water when you are ready to serve.  You can do this by the glass, if you like – fill your glass a bit over half way with the syrup/raspberry/lemon mixture, then top up with cold mineral water.  Yum.

You can make this without the raspberries, to make it more fructose-friendly.  Just add an extra cup of cold water.

You can also, of course, adjust the sugar to taste.  This is quite a sweet drink, I find (but what would I know?  I usually drink water…).  I’d recommend that if you use less than a cup of sugar, you make the syrup with only one cup of water at the start, and add the other cup of water at the end.  Note that this drink will taste sweeter when it is cold than it did when still warm (I thought it was a bit sour on first tasting, but by the time it had cooled, it was very nearly too sweet).  You could also, of course, dilute the drink with water to serve if it’s a bit much.

And I’m sure blueberries would work just as well as raspberries here.

Enjoy!

And, if you are in Melbourne, stay cool.

drink2

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15 comments for “Recipe: Raspberry and Lavender Lemonade

  1. March 9, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    Our Perth temperatures decided to do another climb this week too, and it is definitely at the point where I think autumn should hurry up and arrive properly! This looks like just the thing for coping with a week like yours – best of luck for the finishing of grants too (horrible process even if weather was nice and everything else going smoothly).

    • Catherine
      March 9, 2013 at 5:26 pm

      Oh, I am so very ready for autumn! It’s my favourite time of year, actually (oh, and you’ve just given me an idea for my next Vegetarian challenge theme – yay!).

  2. Donald U'Ren
    March 9, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    Just made this!
    Absolutely perfect for this hot weather 😛 loving the flavour mix XD

    • Catherine
      March 9, 2013 at 6:24 pm

      Boy, you’re quick off the mark! I’m glad you are enjoying it. It’s making me happy in this hot weather, too…

      (Now I just have to think of something civilised for dinner…)

  3. March 9, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    I am quite sick of this heatwave – enough to drive anyone to murder in the blender!!! it is all salads and watermelon here and I am missing my oven too – there weren’t even any fizzy plain mineral or soda waters available in the supermarket this afternoon – but a good cool drink like this sound excellent

    • Catherine
      March 9, 2013 at 9:39 pm

      Murder by blender made me giggle. Isn’t this weather disgusting? I normally adore Melbourne’s weather because it is so changeable – this consistent nasty heat is more like Sydney or Adelaide, totally un-called for…

  4. Iestyn
    March 10, 2013 at 12:12 am

    I’m thanking the inspiration that got me to replace my old syphon a few months ago: I can keep cordials like this ( or the rose petal and lime, or the blood orange and cardamom) by the bed and make up as needed.

    • Catherine
      March 10, 2013 at 12:14 am

      You could have a syrup for every occasion!

      • Iestyn
        March 13, 2013 at 3:30 am

        Now: where you you recommend that a impecunious mobility limited DOM gets culinary lavender?

        • Catherine
          March 13, 2013 at 9:38 am

          I take it you don’t know anyone who grows French lavender? Because fresh would work here, too.

          I stock up at the Royal Melbourne Show every few years, or go to a lavender farm. Neither of these are brilliantly cost-effective options, though the lavender farm is the better of the two (and also very pretty, of course).

          Aha! I’ve just checked and Gewürzhaus sells it (I knew they had lavender salt and lavender sugar, but it turns out that they also sell it neat.

          • Iestyn
            March 13, 2013 at 8:34 pm

            Now: where you you recommend that a impecunious mobility limited DOM gets culinary lavender?

            • Iestyn
              March 13, 2013 at 8:35 pm

              Not sure what happens there. Thanks, I’ll try and get out there this week!

              • Catherine
                March 13, 2013 at 11:38 pm

                Hold on to your wallet – it’s a dangerously fascinating shop…

  5. March 11, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    I absolutely LOVE lavender-flavoured things, so I’ll definitely be trying this recipe out!

    • Catherine
      March 11, 2013 at 4:29 pm

      Yay! It is a little on the sweet side, so you may want to reduce the sugar if you like your soft drinks tart.

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