Fresh lavender (and a splash of vodka if you'd like) offers a grown-up twist on this childhood favorite.
- One dozen lemons
- One cup of sugar
- Three cups of filtered water
- 1/2 cup of freshly picked lavender flowers**
- Lemon slices and lavender sprigs, for garnish
- Optional: 1/2 cup of vodka
** Fresh lavender can be diffifult to find at a grocery store or farmer's market, so I grow it in my rooftop herb garden, where the beautiful flowers bloom abundantly starting in early spring. In a pinch, a tablespoon of dried lavender will do.
In a medium saucepan, make a simple syrup by heating the sugar and one cup of water on low until the sugar has dissolved completely and the mixture is just short of boiling (be sure to stir constantly so it does not burn). Remove from heat and add the lavender; allow to infuse for at least 30 minutes. Strain the lavender-infused simple syrup through a fine sieve or cheesecloth and discard the solids.
Juice the lemons, straining pulp and seeds. You should have approximately two cups of fresh juice.
To serve, mix the lavender simple syrup with lemon juice and two cups of filtered water (or, if you'd like, use one and 1/2 cups of water and 1/2 cup of vodka). Serve over ice garnished with lemon slices and springs of fresh lavender.