Mint, rosemary and VANILLA lemonade. Vanilla! I made it for our friends Jon and Kelli the other night, and from now on and until the fall, I’m going to keep a batch in the fridge, always.
The recipe is from A New Turn in the South, and like the lemonade, Hugh Acheson’s book will have a heavy presence in my summer rotation (I wrote about his peach pie in my latest post).
The lemonade is great on its own. Kelli tried it with her beer, and was surprised to find it worked—even with the vanilla note. And I am absolutely sure it would be good with vodka, bourbon or even tequila.
The very last glass poured from the pitcher is the most vanilla-ish; the seeds, which make it through the straining, sink to the bottom rather prettily.
Damn, this is good stuff.
Mint, Rosemary and Vanilla Lemonade
Adapted from Hugh Acheson’s recipe in A New Turn in the South
8 cups water, just boiled
8 lemons, halved and juiced (you’ll use both the juice and what remains of the lemons)
1 cup white sugar
10 sprigs of fresh mint, plus a handful of leaves to garnish the pitcher / glasses
1 or 2 sprigs rosemary
1/2 vanilla bean
In a large non-reactive pot or bowl, put the lemon juice and the juiced halves, the sugar, the mint sprigs, the rosemary and the vanilla (split the pod, scrape the seeds into the pot or bowl, and throw the empty pod in, too). Pour the boiling water over, give it a gentle stir, and let it stand for 30 minutes, leaving the flavours to infuse.
Strain the liquid into a large pitcher, discard the solids, and refrigerate. Serve very cold, over ice, with some fresh mint leaves.