I think I've outdone myself. Seriously. I created a recipe -- using bits and pieces from what I've read -- and made lemonade that is not only delicious and nutritious but the ingredients are all locally sourced except for the lemons. (Bonus: you get the recipe here for free!)
First, combine berries and herbs with a sweetener in a sauce pan to make a syrup. I used our river valley saskatoons and our backyard Nanking cherries with our garden basil and mint (I used apple mint because I have it on hand), and raw honey from a local farm.
Let it cook for about 5 to 8 minutes then take off heat to cool. Mash this concoction through a strainer. Don't forget to put a bowl underneath to capture the syrup!
Once you get every last drop, refrigerate the syrup in a jar until it is time to combine with lemons for the lemonade. I waited a couple of hours to get it nice and cool. In the meantime, squeeze organic lemons and refrigerate them as well in a jar. (Here I'm showing you the juice and syrup before I pour into jars to store in fridge. If you like, you could certainly combine both juices into another glass container before refrigerating.)
When you it's time to enjoy, put some ice cubes in a glass. (I created a saskatoons berry ice with lavender flowers but you could use plain ice.) Then pour the juice and syrup combination with either water or sparkling water. Top with a couple of slices of lemon.
This drink provides outstanding nutrients especially Vitamin C, and other minerals. You could certainly use any berry that you like (blueberry, strawberry, Nanking cherry, etc.) and play with the herbs. Let me know how you like it. Cheers!
- • 2 cups freshly squeezed lemons (about 12 to 15 lemons)
- • 2 cups water or sparkling water
- • 2 cups herbed berry syrup (see below)
- • ice
- Berry Syrup
- • 1 ½ cups raw honey
- • 1 ¼ to 1 ½ cups water (1/4 cup is for all berries except ½ for strawberries)
- • 3 cups berries (saskatoons, blue, black, pin cherry, or straw)
- • ½ cup basil, washed and stemmed (do not stuff them into the cup or it will be too strong)
- • ½ cup mint, washed and stemmed
- Place honey, water, berries, basil and mint in a pot and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Set aside to cool. Strain out the berries and herbs, pressing on them to remove all syrup.
- Pour water, lemon juice, and syrup in a pitcher, stir and pour over ice in glasses.