I have decided to start my first regular installment — Thirsty Thursdays — and will be posting some of my favorite drink recipes each week when I have one to share. Check out some of my previously posted favorites such as Meyer Lemon Drop Martinis, Strawberry Wine Coolers, Hurricanes, and Pina Coladas. I came across this tasty refresher this week via a newly discovered blog and couldn’t wait to test it out. Fresh homemade lemonade is a treat by itself, but add the subtle hint of vanilla bean, and it transcends to a whole new level. Try this lemonade this weekend — your family will thank you :)
A fun twist for your lemonade!
Yield: about 12 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10-12 minutes
Total Time: 20-25 minutes
For the Simple Syrup:
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Water
3 slices of Lemon Peel
1 Vanilla Bean
1 generous pinch of Kosher Salt
Cheesecloth, to strain syrup
For the Lemonade:
Juice of 6-8 lemons, strained
8-10 cups of water
1 cup of vanilla/lemon syrup
Lemon slices to garnish
Slice the vanilla bean in half and with the back of your knife scrape out all the seeds.
Bring sugar, water, vanilla bean and pod, lemon peel and salt to boil on your stove.
After sugar dissolves I gently simmer mine 5-10 minutes to really get the lemon peel flavor in there.
Remove from heat, strain through a few layers of cheesecloth set over a large measuring cup and cool. You can speed up the process by placing the measuring cup in a large bowl surrounded by ice.
Once the syrup has cooled; add it to a large pitcher along with the 8-10 cups of water and strained lemon juice. Garnish with a few lemon slices.
Pour in a tall glass over ice and sip.