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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Honey Vanilla Lemonade

Lemonade is one of my favorite warm weather drinks.  It's cool, refreshing, and tart.  Better for you than soda, and more satisfying than water.  Sometimes I like to mix things up a little and put a new spin on old favorites.  I found this recipe for Honey Vanilla Lemonade several years ago and I new I had to try it.  I've been hooked ever since.  Its still the same sweet/tart flavor of a regular lemonade, but it has a nice smoothness due to the vanilla, and a subtly sweet honey flavor.  It's delicious. 

Start by making a simple syrup.  One cup of sugar and one cup of water.
Obtain a one inch piece of vanilla bean and split it down the middle, lengthwise.

Open it up and scrape out the tiny seeds with the blade of the knife.

Tiny, vanilla caviar.

Put the seeds and the bean pod right into the pot with the sugar and water.  Bring this mixture to a boil until all of the sugar is dissolved.

Remove this from the heat and stir in one tablespoon of honey.  I like wildflower honey best, but you can use whatever kind you like. 

Allow this to cool to room temperature before proceeding to the following steps.  Fifteen to twenty minutes ought to do it. 

In a two quart pitcher, mix the honey vanilla syrup you just made with one cup of lemon juice.

I like to leave the vanilla beans and pod in the pitcher, but you can strain them out it you prefer. 

Fill the pitcher the rest of the way with water and stir.

Now grab a big tall glass, put a few cubes of ice in the bottom, and fillerup.

 This is a very fresh, smooth, thirst-quenching drink for a nice, warm day. 

Honey Vanilla Lemonade Recipe
makes 2 quarts
for the syrup
1 c. sugar
1 c. water
1 inch piece of vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 tbsp. honey
for the lemonade
1 c. lemon juice
2 quarts, minus one cup, water

In a small saucepan, bring to a boil the sugar, water, vanilla beans and pod until the sugar is dissolved.  Stir in the honey and cool to room temperature.  Add cooled syrup to the bottom of a 2 quart pitcher along with lemon juice.  Stir to combine.  Add the rest of the water and mix.

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