Sunday, August 12, 2012


Those of you who know me, know I have no use for a mocktail. They're nothing but a tease, and everything is better with a little booze. BUT, I've found a couple that are so delicious WITHOUT alcohol!

I found this on the Free People website while I was dreamily cruising for some summer essentials and it looked so good that I just had to try it...maple syrup and all :) Plus, it's super pretty...

Blackberry Lavender Lemonade
serves 4-6
1/2 cup dried culinary lavender (I happened across some at can order it online, or find it in some specialty grocery stores like Whole Foods or Harris Teeter)
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 (I did. It was great. But the non-alcoholic version was also great!)

Honey Basil Lemonade

I am also always on the lookout for new recipes...and while checking out some new sites I came across An Hour in the Kitchen. The author of this blog focuses on using "modern tools, old fashioned ingredients," which is right up my alley.

As I was looking for something to make for dinner, I came across something truly delicious. A honey basil lemonade (featuring two of my favorite ingredients--honey and basil.) Of course I had to try it!!!

Honey Basil Lemonade

serves 2-4

1/3 cup honey

1 cup hot water plus cold water

1 cup fresh basil leaves

1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4-5 lemons*)

*to get the most juice, use room temperature lemons!

In a small bowl, combine the honey and hot water and stir until the honey is dissolved, let cool. In a one quart jar (think mason...vintage and cute!) or pitcher, add basil leaves and muddle them with a wooden spoon. Stir in the lemon juice and honey mixture. Fill jar or pitcher with water and cover. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight (the longer it steeps, the stronger the basil flavor). Strain and pour into ice-filled glasses.

**If you want to booze this one up, add a shot of vodka per glass :)

SUCH a yummy treat for the long, hot, sweaty dog days of summer...cuts right through the humidity!!

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