*This Honeyed Gooseberry + Marjoram Blossom Lemonade is free of refined sugars & makes a refreshing summery drink that is both tangy and delicately floral.
Whoever lived in our home before us, fortunately, had excellent forsight (in planting what has now become nothing less than a miniature orchard of astounding variety) and unfortunately, a lack of artistic direction when it came to planting a visually pleasing flower bed in the front yard. Right by the front door we inherited random groupings of bulb-flowers. Irises, daffodils, and tulips, one bunch after another. Interspersed with the spring flowers lived a lone peony bush, strange , tall & droopy red topped stems of who knows what, and a cluster of shockingly pink somethings. It was a mess.
My husband ripped the whole thing out a few weeks ago and let me tell you, I feel so much better. Now I have a blank slate to work with and if there’s one thing I love, it’s a blank slate. After the removal of that eyesore, I turned my attention the to bay window. Both sides of the window are tangled in blackberry canes, which is great. Strawberry plants and weeds cover the ground around the window and right in the middle stands a gooseberry bush (there’s also another in the back yard). I almost asked Dev to rip out that gooseberry bush because, really, what am I supposed to do with gooseberries?! I’d never even seen one until we moved here.
Before such a terrifying undertaking commenced (have you SEEN those tiny thorns?!), I decided to give those gooseberries a chance. I wanted to do something with them. But WHAT? I’d heard of gooseberry pie (I really thought that was just a childhood myth) but I can’t say I care for the texture of the berries and I didn’t see a pie improving that. So, when life gives you gooseberries, you make lemonade. And I’m so glad I did.
This lemonade is without a doubt, my favorite lemonade of all time, as well as my husbands. That is saying a lot as we LOVE lemonade around these parts and have made so many different versions.
The lemonade itself has the prettiest blush color, brought out by stewing the gooseberries in water and lemon juice before mixing with honey and steeping in the marjoram blossoms. You could probably use any type of edible herbal blossoms, but I happen to have a large bunch of marjoram growing in my back yard. The aroma of the flowers is so sweet and delicately floral, I couldn’t help but add it to the lemonade. It works so beautifully with the gooseberries, which have just a slight floral hint themselves, when cooked.
How much do I love this lemonade? Well. The other night I was enjoying the last little bit of it in one of my favorite Farmhouse Pottery glasses. I accidentally knocked it off of my nightstand where it shattered at once in a big, wet lemonade-y mess on my bedroom floor. The only thing I found more upsetting than the breaking of my favorite glass? The annihilation of my last few sips of lemonade. I almost cried.
What? It’s good lemonade, folks.
- 2 cups Gooseberries, washed (de-stemming is not necessary)
- 1 cup Water
- ⅔ cup Fresh Lemon Juice
- ¾ cup Raw Honey
- ½ cup Marjoram Blossoms (or other herb blossom), broken into smaller bunches
- Place the gooseberries, water, and lemon juice in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium/high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let cook for another 10 minutes, until the berries are soft and liquid has reduced somewhat.
- Pour the mixture into a fine mesh strainer (place a bowl underneath) and press on the solids until all liquid is extracted from the berries and has collected in the bowl. Discard solids.
- Let the gooseberry lemon mixture cool for 10 minutes. Add the honey to the mixture and whisk in until fully combined. Pour into an airtight container, add the marjoram blossoms, cover with lid and give a good shake to distribute blossoms. Refrigerate overnight for best flavor.
- TO MAKE LEMONADE:
- Pour the lemonade base into a pitcher and stir in cold water, tasting as you go, until desired strength is achieved.
- Serve over ice.
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