Looking for the perfect summer drink? Try this: Lavender vanilla lemonade

Relax with Lavender Vanilla Lemonade

As I’ve previously mentioned, I’m a big fan of lavender. When I’m feeling stressed, a noseful of the scent helps restore me to a calm, cool and collected state.

In the summertime, another activity that helps me chill out is hanging out on the front porch, sipping a cool beverage, watching cars pass by and chatting with friends and neighbors.

So, why not combine those two things? Lavender is great in lemonade, a touch of vanilla adds some extra sweetness (and lovely scent) to this concoction. If you’re feeling social, you can make a batch big enough to share when front-porch friends drop by. (If those friends happen to be over 21 and you want to add a little extra relaxation, a little bourbon or vodka would produce an extra-special libation.)

What’s your perfect summer beverage?

Lavender Vanilla Lemonade

Makes 8, 8 oz. servings

2 c. lemon juice

1 1/2 c. sugar

1 c. water

1 c. dried lavender

1 T. pure vanilla extract

5 c. cold water

In a small saucepan, add dried lavender, sugar and 1 c. water. Turn heat up to high and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Turn off heat and allow mixture to cool.

After sugar mixture has cooled, use a sieve to strain out the lavender. Add liquid to a large pitcher and combine with lemon juice, vanilla and cold water. Serve over ice.