Monday, July 1, 2013

Luscious Lemonades with Flavor Infused Syrup


Last March when Jenn and I traveled to Argentina to visit Allison, we took an overnight flight.  In the morning, just before we landed, they served us medialunas (croissants) and café con leche.  The typical Argentine breakfast didn’t fill me up for long, and by the time we arrived at Allison’s apartment I was ready for lunch.  She took us to a fun, trendy Buenos Aires’s neighborhood called “Palermo Hollywood”.  It was a warm day and by the time we were seated at the restaurant, we felt wilted and jet lagged.  The waiter gave us a printed copy of the menu and we checked off our choices with a pencil.  One option under the beverage section was lemongrass infused ginger lemonade. Refreshingly tangy but sweet, it was just the thing to give me a jolt of energy. Later in the week, after Caroline joined us, we found ourselves in another cute Palermo café. There I had some delicious mint infused lemonade.  In the months since I’ve gotten back home, I have tried to duplicate these flavor infused lemonades.  It has taken a while – either they have tasted too weak or were teeth achingly sweet. I fell back on the southern way of making lemonade; I made simple syrup but infused it with a flavor.  I think this version below tastes pretty yummy, and the level of sweetness can be altered by adding or deleting the amount of sugar. Likewise, the flavor intensity of the ginger and herbs can be increased or diminished by playing around with the amounts put into the simple syrup. I came up with some interesting combinations such as:


Lemon and Lavender




Ginger and Mint (peel the ginger before slicing when making simple syrup)


Basil and Lemon


For a Batch of Flavor Infused Simple Syrup


2 cups sugar

1 cup water

A flavor ingredient such as: ¼ teaspoon dried culinary lavender, thumbsized piece of ginger – sliced, or ¼ cup of herb leaves such as mint or basil

Place ingredients in a pan over high heat.  Stir until the sugar dissolves.  Allow to reach a boil and then let the mixture simmer for an additional 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and strain the syrup into a container

For the Infused Lemonade:

Simple syrup from above

8 to 10 lemons, squeezed to make 2 cups juice

1 gallon of water

Additional lemon slices and herb sprigs for garnishing


Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher along with ice.  Use the lemon slices and herb sprigs to garnish each individual glassful.

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