Homemade Herbal Lemonade

June 14, 2010 at 9:16 pm 46 comments

Homemade Herbal Lemonade

The heat is on, woowhee!   Really, it’s the humidity that’s pumping here in Philly right now.  I was wringing my clothes out this morning in the garden.   Still, a quick chug out of my icy jug of Homemade Herbal Lemonade was so cool and delicious that I was able to keep at the weeding for five whole hours!   Well, I did take a break to pick some blueberries and raspberries somewhere in the middle there…recipes to come for those.  In any case, this is a mighty refreshing beverage to have on hand on a hot summer day. 

Homemade Herbal Lemonade

If (when) I get married, I think I’d like to have one of my close friends make several dozen of these beautiful bottles of lemonade to have scattered around in ice-filled tin tubs and on the long communal tables laid out with a farm fresh feast {I guess I’d better buy stock in a lemon company that year}.  There’s just something about the way these jars gather condensation in the heat that makes me want to pour a glass and kick back with my flip flops off and the skirt of my sundress hiked up just a little higher.  A jar would make a great addition to a picnic basket for an outdoor concert in the park or a drive-in movie.  Bonus: add a shot of vanilla vodka and get a nice little buzz with your cool down.  Perfect for a sultry summer night. 

Lemons and a bottle

Homemade Herbal Lemonade


Homemade Herbal Lemonade
A Straight from the Farm Original

1 plus 1/2 C. granular sugar
5 large sprigs of fresh mint
1 small bunch of citrus thyme or other herb
1 vanilla bean
6 ripe lemons

Put 1/2 cup of sugar with a 1/2 cup of water in a small saucepan over medium heat until sugar is fully dissolved and the simple syrup is quite hot.   Add one or two sprig of fresh mint and a few stems of thyme.  Split and scrape the vanilla bean and add both the beans and the pod halves to the simple syrup.  Stir and set aside to steep and come to room temperature.

Wash lemons and slice into thin rounds.  Place in a large bowl and sprinkle with the remaining cup of sugar.  Using a wooden spoon, masher or mallet, squish the lemon slices and sugar until a lot of liquid accumulates.   Add five cups of water to the bowl and stir.  When the simple syrup is cool, add it to the lemonade bowl and stir. 

Store in glass bottles with the remaining fresh sprigs of herbs.  Best served within one day.  Serve in chilled glasses with another sprig of herbs. 

(makes about 3 quarts)


Entry filed under: Beverages, Recipes. Tags: , , , .

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46 Comments Add your own

  • […] The heat is on, woowhee!   Really, it's the humidity that's pumping here in Philly right now.  I was wringing my clothes out this morning in the garden.   Still, a quick chug out of my icy jug of Homemade Herbal Lemonade was so cool and delicious that I was able to keep at the weeding for five whole hours!   Well, I did take a break to pick some blueberries and raspberries somewhere in the middle there…recipes to come for those.  In any case, t … Read More […]

  • 2. Heather  |  June 14, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    if it ever stops raining here, I’m making this! looks so pretty too.

  • 3. Erin  |  June 15, 2010 at 1:27 am

    Beautiful pics and an enticing recipe! I will try it within the next few days.

    I can’t imagine cleaning out those bottle though! Makes my sink weep just thinking of it LOL! Makes for great styling though!

    • 4. Jennie  |  June 15, 2010 at 11:40 am

      Hehe, Erin, I have a little trick for getting the stuff out of the bottles. There’s this little long skinny grabber thing they sell at hardware stores that is suppose to be used for getting something like a dropped ring out of a sink drain. I use one of those to reach into the bottles and pull out the garnishings. 🙂 If you’d rather not deal with it, the lemonad is equally beautiful and tasty in a glass pitcher or old enamel bowl.

      • 5. Saroja  |  June 16, 2010 at 9:21 am

        Brilliant cleaning idea! I had the same thought about difficulty cleaning when I looked at the pictures. Thanks for the tip!

  • […] Homemade Herbal Lemonade « Straight from the Farm […]

  • 7. Food-Fitness-FreshAir  |  June 15, 2010 at 6:20 am

    Great recipe. I’ll have to give this a try. I’ve been making a lot of plain mint tea lately. I could definitely see this turned into a fantastic mojito!

    • 8. Jennie  |  June 15, 2010 at 11:40 am

      Mojitos! Yes please! Great idea. 🙂

  • 9. Nourishing Words  |  June 15, 2010 at 6:36 am

    As with all of your endeavors, edible, drinkable and otherwise, this is beautifully artistic…I’ll be making this soon (if it warms up here in New Hampshire, that is). Now to find bottles like those!

    • 10. Jennie  |  June 15, 2010 at 11:41 am

      Pssst, I got mine at Ikea {hangs head in shame}.

      • 11. Melissa Lovejoy Goldman  |  June 17, 2010 at 11:34 pm

        There’s a cool vodka that comes in similar bottles – Vodka 360. I usually send back the tops (they donate $1 to ecological funds for every top sent back) and recycle the bottles, but now it appears I have a new use! Besides, it seems as if it might be nice to have some vodka on hand for embellishing the recipe…

  • 12. Jason  |  June 15, 2010 at 7:51 am

    I’m excited to try this! We usually go to the Chicago Symphony at the Ravinia Festival around my birthday (in muggy late-July)… this would be perfect and we’d be the envy of all those snooty people with their wine & cheese platters! 😛

    • 13. Jennie  |  June 15, 2010 at 11:43 am

      Yes indeedy, the talk of the town you will be with a bottle of this lemonade in your symphony picinic basket. 🙂 Though I would give up on the cheese platter idea… god, I love good cheese even more than homemade lemonade!

  • 14. Christine  |  June 15, 2010 at 9:46 am

    If you’re recruiting, I’d be delighted to make wedding lemonade 😉

    • 15. Jennie  |  June 15, 2010 at 11:45 am

      When the day comes, my dear, when the day comes. 😉 Thanks for being so quick to volunteer…especially since I pretty much had you in mind anyway. Hehe. 🙂

  • 16. Veronika Rojas  |  June 15, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    This looks delicious! A co-worker just brought fresh thyme and mint from her garden to share with everyone. I will definitely use the herbs on this great recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  • 17. Margie  |  June 15, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    mmmmmmmm … definitely thinking a mojito inspired version of this with limes and a syrup made with fresh mint – maybe with club soda for day and liquor it up for the evening 😉
    Great presentation!

  • 18. lvaletutto  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:45 am

    Looks so delicious! But how do you clean out those jars after? Wide mouth mason jars wouldn’t be as pretty but would be easier to reuse : )

  • 19. shayma  |  June 17, 2010 at 10:07 am

    very delicious- and i hope your dream comes true of having this on your wedding. (inshallah, as we say 🙂 ) x shayma

  • 20. Music of Rain  |  June 17, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    This is beautiful. I make lavender lemonade but never though to bottle it. I could almost go for kitchen art from your photos!

  • 21. Foodwhirl » Cooling off for the Summer  |  June 18, 2010 at 10:03 am

    […] maybe some Homemade Herbal Lemonade with these instructions from Straight From The Farm?  I’m feeling cooler already… […]

  • 22. dot  |  June 18, 2010 at 10:06 am

    This looks beautiful! and tasty too 🙂 I have a ton of mint I need to use, so I’ll be trying some version of this soon.

    I just found your blog – love it – I’ve also linked to you here: http://foodwhirl.com/seasonalholiday/cooling-off-for-the-summer

    nice to meet you!

  • 23. Chef Dennis  |  June 20, 2010 at 8:53 am

    now that is a beautiful presentation of lemonade!! I love the bottle and it must be delicious with herbs and vanilla bean!
    thanks for sharing!

    • 24. Jennie  |  June 20, 2010 at 2:34 pm

      Thanks, Chef Dennis! I just stopped over at your blog (beautiful!) and noticed you’re quite close by to me. If you ever want to talk food or need edible flowers for your classes (I grow several kinds), feel free to get in touch. 🙂

  • 25. tasteofbeirut  |  June 20, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    These two , lemon and mint, are my all-time favorite flavors for drinks in the summer. Thanks to you I now have a great recipe to follow.

  • 26. Louise  |  June 21, 2010 at 8:50 am

    Hi Jennie!!!

    What a glorious and refreshing drink. The humidity has been unbearable here in central PA too. Thank goodness today is a wee bit better.

    I just happened upon recipe called Picnic Lemonade in Prairie Home Cooking by Judith Fertig. Rather than using the granulated sugar, she includes a recipe for Honeysuckle Syrup. I can’t help it, I must share it with YOU:)

    4 cups packed honeysuckle blossoms Sugar
    Lemon juice

    1. Rinse the honeysuckle blossoms gently. Put the blossoms in a large saucepan and pour over enough boiling water to cover. Cover the saucepan, remove it from the heat, and let the mixture steep for 24 hours.
    2. The next day, strain the cooled liquid into a large bowl, discarding the blossoms. Measure the liquid and pour it into a large saucepan. For each cup of infusion, add 2 cup sugar and the juice of 1/2 lemon to the saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture has a syrupy texture. Remove the pan from the heat, let the syrup cool slightly and pour into lidded glass bottles or jars. Refrigerated, the syrup will keep indefinitely. The authors suggests 1-1/4 cups of Honeysuckle Syrup for 12 lemons and 3 quarts of Spring water.

    I can just imagine those “wedding” bottles with fresh honey blossoms afloat. Now about that Vodka…

    Thank you so much for sharing, Jennie…

  • 27. Louise  |  June 21, 2010 at 9:09 am

    It’s me again! I got so excited about the recipe, I completely forgot to invite you to the online Picnic Game over at my blog. Here’s the link with info. I do hope you’ll be able to join us…

  • 28. Sophia  |  June 22, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Wow, great job here. Awesome picture too! You should really consider submitting this to Recipe4Living’s Summertime Sipper Contest! I think it could win!

  • 29. Katie Hudson  |  June 22, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    Beautiful pictures and perfect for summer!!

  • 30. Nourishing Words  |  June 22, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    Jennie – you should definitely enter the contest! Your photos are beautiful and the recipe is perfect. Do it!

  • […] for cooling off! ” Including: Make a Cucumber Gimlet at Crumpets and Cakes!  Or maybe some Homemade Herbal Lemonade. Pictured: Star Shaped Fruit salad from Chica & […]

  • 32. Kevin (Closet Cooking)  |  June 24, 2010 at 11:14 am

    That lemonade looks so fresh and good! It would be fun making your own!

  • 33. Diana @ frontyardfoodie  |  June 27, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    Mmmm, I’ve recently been really into herb drinks. My mom makes all sorts of amazing things like iced ‘tea’ from different kinds of basil. SO good.

  • 34. The Unusual Farm Chick  |  June 28, 2010 at 6:32 am

    Sounds & looks divine! I have been saving these latch top bottles from pink lemonade I buy at world market. I splurge once in a while & buy them. Mostly for the bottle. 🙂
    I may have to experiemnt with this recipe for our house warming party, to use this idea (and the one for having the bottles chilled in ice buckets set out on tables)

    • 35. Jennie  |  June 28, 2010 at 2:27 pm

      So I’m not the only one that buys that pink lemonde just or the bottles… 😉 This would be wonderful for your housewarming!

  • 36. Steve  |  June 28, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    It is so hot and humid here in Florida that Lemon Aid seems like it might be the only solution.

  • […] sipped a delicious herbal lemonade, a recipe from Straight from the Farm, made with peppermint, lemon thyme and vanilla bean. An unusual layering of flavors, tart and […]

  • 38. designhouse9  |  July 11, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    Gorgeous photos! I’ll have to try this recipe as it sounds utterly refreshing for a hot day.

    I recently attended a graduation party where they had water with lemon and cucumber slices added. I found that combo very refreshing as well–very clean and crisp tasting! Not for everyone though. One of the parents of the aforementioned graduate didn’t care for it at all.

  • 39. Lemonade « LIVLIG  |  July 18, 2010 at 8:02 am

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  • 42. Summer Refreshment:  |  July 20, 2011 at 12:33 pm

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  • 43. Judy  |  March 15, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Sugar is my enemy so I will use xylitol. It’s been around since WWII thanks to Finland (there was a sugar shortage and they discovered xylitol by making sap from birch trees). Dentists love it and it tastes just like sugar.

  • 44. Two Lemonades | fudgingahead  |  May 3, 2012 at 11:07 am

    […] Mint and Lemon Thyme-Infused Lemonade (by Jennie at Straight From the Farm) […]

  • 45. nanseesart  |  May 31, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    Maybe I’m missing something here; but, do 5.5 cups of water make 3 quarts of lemonade? Or, do I prepare this recipe first, then add enough water to make 3 quarts? Or, do I add about 3 quarts of prepared lemonade?

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