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Holy cow, this stuff is good.  Rosemary can be such a strong flavor that I was a bit wary of making this lemonade, but it really is just a slight piney flavor in the background.  Just enough to make it more interesting than plain lemonade.  And beside the fact that the cherries make the drink look pretty, they are a sweet, slightly tart treat to snack on when you’re finished drinking.

Rosemary Lemonade with Rainier Cherries (from the blog Not Without Salt)

Makes about 2 1/2 quarts

  • ½ cup honey (use a light flavored honey such as clover)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 cups fresh lemon juice
  • about 5 cups water (more or less depending on desired sweetness and tang)
  • Rainier cherries (or whatever variety you have on hand)

Anything that starts with ingredients like these has to be good.

Combine the honey, sugar and 2 cups of water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Turn off heat and stir to make sure the sugar is dissolved.  Add the rosemary.  Let the mixture steep until cool.

Juice enough lemons for 2 cups of lemon juice.  Either strain out the pulp or add it back in if you like some pulp in your lemonade.

Combine the cooled syrup with the lemon juice in a pitcher or carafe.  Add about 5 cups of water to the mixture, more or less depending on how tart or sweet you want it to be.

Pour over ice and halved cherries.

I think cherries are the most visually interesting fruit.  It’s the stems.  They’re nature’s little handles.

I discovered during this process how much I prefer Rainier cherries to Bing cherries.  They’re lighter tasting and I don’t know, just better.  It’s hard to describe.  I think the fact that they’re prettier has something to do with it…

Cold, tart, earthy and slightly sweet, these little drinks are immensely satisfying.  And the cherries soak up the flavors of the lemonade and taste exactly 1,000 times better – not that cherries even need any help, especially Rainier cherries, but you know what I mean.

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