I feel a little like I’m pushing it by posting a lemonade. But I can’t help it. I have two reasons for doing so:
1. I love lemonade. See the bottom of this post for proof.
2. I’ve been waiting my whole life to use lemon verbena for such a purpose. I’m serious. Growing up I read about it in fancy cookbooks but had never seen it available anywhere. I know, you can grown it yourself. As someone who is incredibly skilled at mass plant murder by dehydration, it just never really occurred to me. BUT. I grew a whole garden this year. I may not have weeded it (I mean, AT ALL….serious spider issues over here), but it grew quite well, nonetheless. And in my overgrown garden, I added one Lemon Verbena plant. It grew about three feet tall and I have been dreaming up uses for it!
The first: This Lemon Verbena Lemonade with Blackberry Smashed Ice
The method is simple: Lemon verbena leaves are added to the syrup as soon as it finishes cooking and are steeped for as little as 30 minutes to as long as it takes to cool to room temperature. Strain, add water, and that’s it.
Except for the smashed blackberry ice, of course. Even more simple to prepare than the lemonade syrup, these ice cubes add a pop of color and a bright fruity flavor to the drink. Fresh blackberries are puled with water in a blender and then frozen in ice cube trays.
See? So simple. Freeze those ice cubes and pop them into the pitcher of lemonade for a sophisticated take on a classic beverage. Lemon verbena really ups the lemon flavor and adds something special!
Frozen Blackberry Basil Lemonade
Coconut Peach Lemonade Slushies
Watermelon Cantaloupe Lemonade
- 1 cup Blackberries (fresh or frozen)
- 2 cups Water, divided
- 1 cup Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1 cup Sugar + 2 tablespoons
- ¼ cup Lemon Verbena Leaves
- Additional Water
- Add the blackberries and 1 cup of the water to a blender. Pulse 5 or 6 times, until the blackberries are slightly broken up but there are still large pieces. Fill and ice cube tray with the blackberry water and freeze for several hours until firm.
- Add the remaining 1 cup water, lemon juice, and sugar to a saucepan. Bring just to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat, add the lemon verbena leaves, cover, and let steep for 30 minutes or until the syrup is cooled completely.
- Strain the syrup and press on the verbena leaves to extract any remaining liquid.
- Pour the syrup into a pitcher. Add water until the syrup is diluted to your liking.
- Remove the blackberry ice cubes from the tray and add them to the pitcher of lemonade.
- Makes 1 pitcher.
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