Raspberry Lavender Lemonade
The Balanced Palate by Renee Loux
Yields 4 servings (a bit more than a quart)
2 Tbsp dried lavender flowers
2 cups boiled, filtered water
2-3 Tbsp maple syrup
2-3 Tbsp agave nectar or raw honey
1/2 tsp non-alcoholic vanilla extract
1 pint raspberries (2 cups)--fresh or frozen organic
2 cups filtered water
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Pinch of Sea Salt
Springs of fresh mint for garnish
Steep the lavender flowers in the hot water for 3-5 minutes. Do not steep longer or it will turn bitter. Strain. Mix in the maple syrup and agave or honey, and vanilla. Set in the freezer to chill for 15 minutes or in the fridge for 20 minutes or until cool to the touch.
Meanwhile, in a blender, blend the raspberries, filtered water, lemon juice and salt until smooth. Pour through a fine mesh strainer or sieve. Press down on the pulp with the back of a large spoon to extract as much liquid as possible.
Mix the cooled, sweetened tea and the raspberry-lemon mixture together. Add a bit more maple syrup, agave or honey if desired. Serve in tall glasses or wine glasses over ice with springs of fresh mint.
The strawberry-lavender-lemon combo was elegant and refreshing--although I still want to try it with raspberries. Using strawberries did mean less effort to strain the mixture which was nice. I went with the smallest amounts of maple syrup and honey and did 2 Tbsp of each and I really didn't think it needed any additional sweetener once it was mixed. Perfect on a warm summer night!