Paul and Levita’s Purple Lavender Lemonade

When I think of lavender, I think of wide open meadows, a deep breath of fresh air, a romantic gesture, soothing palettes and serenity.  But until I encountered the lavender lemonade at Eatonville Restaurant nearly two years ago, I had never considered the culinary uses of this flower.  At Eatonville, a venue themed after the life of Harlem Renaissance figure Zora Neale Hurston, this refreshing beverage is served up in mason jars with free floating dried lavender flowers.  After trying and enjoying its regular lemonade and then its ginger lemonade along with the lavender one, I have concluded that the latter is my favorite. 

On a recent shopping trip to Yes Organic Market, I spotted a jar labeled “dried lavender flowers” in the bulk herb section for the first time and purchased a few ounces with the intent of finally making it.  I headed to the refrigerated juice aisle and found Newman’s Own Virgin Lemonade which has the words No High Fructose Corn Syrup in big letters across the top. 

When we got home, I used a pestle and mortar to pound the dried lavender, transferred the lavender to an unbleached filter bag (because I didn’t think my daughters would like bits of dried flowers floating around in their glasses), poured the lemonade in a beautiful pitcher, added a little agave nectar to make it sweeter, and then steeped the lavender in it for a good 30 minutes while we prepared the rest of our meal.

Between the three of us, we drank the whole pitcher in one sitting and will likely make a hundred pitchers more before the summer of 2011 is over.

Try the recipe below and tell me what other twists on traditional lemonade you love or think might be good.

 

Paul and Levita’s Purple Lavender Lemonade

Ingredients

Newman’s Own Virgin Lemonade, 64oz carton                                                      

3 Tablespoons dried lavender

1-3 Tablespoons Madhava Agave Nectar or raw sugar (optional, depending on how sweet you want your lemonade)

Directions:

Pour the carton of lemonade in a pitcher.  Add the sweetener and stir to dissolve. Using a pestle and mortar, pound the three tablespoons of lavender. Add the pounded lavender to an unbleached Finum filter tea bag. Fold the bag closed and add to the pitcher. Let steep for 30 minutes or longer.

Chill and enjoy in clear glasses!

 

Also, I’m honored to be a guest blogger with Nature Conservancy for their upcoming Earth Day Celebration, Picnic for the Planet.  Read my perspective on Eat(ing) Green and try my Fruit Sorbet for your next picnic! 

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About Levita Mondie

Through Vita's Vegan Ventures, I share my passion for and knowledge of life-affirming vegan cuisine, including Soul Food, Mexican, Italian, Indian, Ghanaian and more. Contact me at vitasveganventures@gmail.com to schedule cooking classes, demonstrations, lectures, and more. See more details at https://vitasveganventures.wordpress.com/ .
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6 Responses to Paul and Levita’s Purple Lavender Lemonade

  1. Disnomore says:

    Sounds yummy! I’m gonna try it!

  2. Hey Vita!
    Thanks for emailing us Peacefooders, I look forward to seeing you again.
    This lavender tea sounds INCREDIBLE! Oh my God, I cannot wait to try it, especially when it warms up here in NYC.

  3. This sounds like a refreshing twist to lemonade, which I love during these steamy, DC summers. I will definitely try this recipe. Thanks! 😉

  4. Erika says:

    Just wanted to let you know that I have made this lemonade twice since reading this post. The first time, I used older lavender that was leftover from some previous purchase, and I didn’t have tea bags so I modified a coffee filter and hoped for the best. It’s no surprise that that first batch, while perfectly drinkable, didn’t have much other than a slight aroma of lavender, but no other alteration to the lemonade’s flavor. So, in preparation for a Labor Day weekend gathering at my house of a book group I am in, I decided to do the lemonade up right-er: replaced with the older lavender with new lavender, did more than a cursory job of crushing them with my mortar and pestle, and used a sieve-like tea ball (that I had completely forgotten I owned the first time) instead of a bag. AND, I let the lavender sit in the lemonade overnight. What a difference! The lemonade had a lovely pinkinsh-purplish color to it, because the color of the lavender transferred freely from the tea ball, and letting it get happy over that extended period of time really infused the lemonade with the flavor of lavender that I was hoping for, beyond just giving it a slight nose of lavender scent. I added no sweetener to it either time that I prepared it. I loved drinking it, and it was a hit with my book club friends as well. Thanks so much for posting this recipe. I think I will invest in some tea bags because metal can sometimes leave its own taste in food if left too long — next summer, I am sure this will be a staple of my diet!

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