Introduction: Rosemary Lemonade

As the days get hotter and longer, nothing is quite as refreshing as a tall glass of lemonade. Anyone who has made lemonade from scratch before probably has their ideal ratio of sugar, lemon and water down to a science. In case you don't, I got you covered.

In this project I want to show you how I make classic lemonade, but with added twist of rosemary. Also, mine is pink.

This sunny weather classic has a woody, sour bite, and the eye-catching colour would be a fine addition to any summertime spread.

Rosemary lemonade for all!

Step 1: Ingredients

Making regular lemonade is easy, using only 3 ingredients, and you can adjust the portions to suit your needs. A starting point for sweet lemonade is:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup lemon juice (about 6 lemons)
  • 1 cup sugar 
For mine, I reduced the amount of sugar slightly and added fresh rosemary and cranberry juice for colour.
You're also going to need:
  • medium pot (for boiling)
  • measuring cup
  • cheesecloth (for straining + steeping rosemary)
  • large juice jug
  • cutting board + kitchen knife
You can find fresh rosemary in the herb section of many groceries, or in your back yard if you grow it. Where I live, many people decorate their gardens with rosemary, as it is both a beautiful and fragrant bush. I found my rosemary by an in-ground tree planter by a busy street. It's unclear whether the rosemary was an intentional addition to the City landscape.

Step 2: Prepare Fresh Rosemary

Fresh rosemary branches were cut from the bush in select areas to not leave a bald spot on the plant. The rosemary was rinsed with warm water to remove any debris and dead twigs.

The rosemary needles were stripped from the branches, and then finely chopped. I made a sachet to steep my rosemary out of a tea bag, but the same can be achieved with cheesecloth. Stuff your steeping sachet with as much rosemary as you can, then cinch it shut.

Step 3: Simple Syrup + Lemon Juice

Using the ratio of 1:1:1 sugar, lemon juice, and water as a guide, I chose to make mine a little less sweet (as I'd be adding in cranberry juice).

Simple Syrup
On medium-high heat, water was poured into a medium pot and allowed to boil. Sugar was added and heat reduced to low. Continuously stir sugar-water solution until all sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.

Lemon Juice
If you have a power or hand juicer, now is a good time to break it out and use it. I don't have one, so I sliced my lemons in half   lengthwise, then each half into thirds - giving me 6 large slices. I hand-squeezed each into a measuring cup, after 6 lemons I was at about a 1 cup of juice. I like my juice pulpy, so I left the bits (not seeds) from the lemons in my mix. Strain lemon juice through cheesecloth if you prefer unpulped juice.

In a large juice jug, combine simple syrup and lemon juice, stir to mix thoroughly.

Add Rosemary
Add sachet of rosemary into jug, ensuring the sachet is completely submerged, and allow to steep in the fridge overnight.
After rosemary has been steeped in lemonade remove the sachet and wring out into lemonade.

Done?
Taste your lemonade and adjust to suit your taste. You can call it finished here if you like, or you can continue on and make it pink with cranberry juice.

Step 4: Make It Pink (optional)

In some parts of the world, pink lemonade is just as popular (more?) than the naturally-coloured yellow variety. Growing up I saw both everywhere from the fairgrounds to the supermarket and never wondered why. While making my lemonade I decided to dig a little into the origins of pink lemonade.

Huffington Post offers:
"Pete Conklin, who sold concessions at the circus in 1857, ran out of water to make his lemonade (with no access to a nearby well or spring). Pete sprinted into the dressing tent and came across Fannie Jamieson, one of the show’s bareback riders. She had just cleaned her pink tights in a vat of water, leaving the liquid looking a deep pink hue." He used the water without a second thought, and sold it as "fine strawberry lemonade." It's reported that he "did double the business of ordinary refreshment and, allegedly, ushered in a new style of the drink."

The article continues to give another account, and Mental Floss offers a few more interpretations of the origin.

I couldn't find any pink tights nearby when making my lemonade, so I tinted it with a splash of cranberry juice. Add as much cranberry as you like to achieve your desired colour. The bitter-tartness of cranberry juice compliments the sweetened lemonade nicely. After adding the cranberry juice and making your lemonade pink place the lemonade jug in the fridge to cool down.

Step 5: Freeze It (optional)

You know another great way to enjoy rosemary lemonade? FROZEN!
I made popsicles with a portion of my rosemary lemonade, and everyone I gave one to said it was better in popsicle form.

If you made some lemonade from the recipe I would like to see it - share a picture in the comments below!
Have fun!

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