Pink Lavender Lemonade

One of my favorite warm weather pastimes is decorating and cooking with edible flowers. The very first time I did anything involving edible flowers was when I encased a pure white goat's cheese topped with violets in a clear aspic. It was for a friend's bridal shower and turned out beautifully. It was quite the conversation starter, as well. Flowers are beautiful as a garnish, healthful in salads and delicious when added to oils or vinegars as an infusion. Many flowers are also high in vitamins A and C as well as other nutrients.

Hands-On Time: 15 minutes
Ready In: 30 minutes, including cooling time
Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

    5 c distilled water, divided
    1 1/2 c sugar
    1/4 c pesticide-free, dried pink hibiscus flowers
    1/4 c chopped English lavender leaves (or 1 T dried lavender flowers)
    2 1/4 c lemon juice
    1/2 c sugar (optional)
    Fresh lavender flowers for garnish

Directions

  1. Combine 2 1/2 C of the water water, 1 1/2 C sugar, and hibiscus flowers in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil while stirring to melt the sugar.
  2. Turn the heat to low and simmer for several minutes until the pink color is extracted from the hibiscus. Remove from heat, stir in lavender leaves, cover and let cool.
  3. Strain into a 2 qt. pitcher and add the remaining 2 1/2 C water and lemon juice.
  4. Stir and add up to 1/2 C more sugar if you think it's not sweet enough.
  5. Serve over ice and top with lavender flowers.
See more recipes from Anne Coleman (aka Short Order Mom).

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