It's lavender harvesting season in our neck of the woods, and we have plenty of culinary lavender on hand especially since we went to an organic, U-pick lavender farm last weekend. In addition to making some fabulous lavender shortbread, I'll be making sure I have plenty of Lavender Honey Lemonade on hand for those hot summer days.
If you live in the Pacific Northwest, head up to the Olympic Peninsula for North America's largest lavender event, the Sequim Lavender Festival, July 17 to 19, 2009. If you do go and harvest some lavender yourself, you can easily dry it by wrapping the bundles with rubber bands and hanging them upside down with a paper clip in a cool, dark room.
Lavender Honey Lemonade
1 cup honey
5 cups water
1 tablespoon dried culinary lavender (or 1/4 cup fresh lavender blossoms)
1 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice, strained
Lavender sprigs for garnish
Combine honey with 2 1/2 cups water in a medium pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the honey.
Add the lavender to the honey water, cover, and remove from heat. Let stand at least 20 minutes (and up to several hours).
Strain mixture and discard lavender. Pour infusion into a glass pitcher. Add lemon juice and another 2 1/2 cups of cold water. Stir well.
Refrigerate until ready to use, or pour into tall glasses half-filled with ice, then garnish with lavender sprigs.