This drink infuses lemonade with chamomile-lavender tea for a refreshing summer treat. It will turn out a delightful shade of blush, given you a different take on pink lemonade. The addition of herbal tea adds a rounded flavor and lessens the amount of sugar needed in lemonade.
This recipe is for an 8-cup pitcher, and is essentially 2 cups of extra strength (6x) herbal tea + 6 cups lemonade. It can be cut in half if you want a smaller serving, or doubled if you want to make a whole gallon for party.
Lemonade Shortcut: This recipe below includes instructions for homemade lemonade. If you want a shortcut, swap out the homemade lemonade portion for a good quality store-bought lemonade (looking for a limited list of clean ingredients). If using store-bought lemonade, do not add sugar to the tea in Step 1. This is the sweetener for the homemade lemonade and is added to the hot tea so that it dissolves. If you add extra sugar while using store-bought lemonade you will get a drink that is sickeningly sweet. Instead, simply steep the extra strength herbal tea, strain and mix in a pitcher with 6 cups store-bought lemonade.
Sugar Substitutions: You can also substitute other sweeteners for the sugar in the recipe below if you prefer. Honey will add its own flavor notes (which you may or may not prefer) and is sweeter than sugar, so aim for less, around 1/3 to 1/2 cup, if substituting.
1. STEEP AN EXTRA STRENGTH HERBAL TEA
Use 6 tablespoons of Four Sisters Chamomile Lavender herbal tea with 2 cups boiling water. Stir in 3/4 to 1 cup sugar depending on how sweet you want it. Steep for 20 minutes. If you have a fine mesh strainer on hand, you can steep the tea without a filter or strainer directly in a saucepan or other heat safe container. That way, when you add the tea into the pitcher (Step 3) you can simply pour it over the strainer into the pitcher.
While tea is steeping, move on to the next step.
2. MAKE THE FRESH LEMON JUICE
Juice 1/2 cup of lemon juice from fresh lemons. You can use regular lemons or meyer lemons, which will make the drink even a little sweeter and a little less tart.
3. COMBINE INGREDIENTS IN PITCHER
Strain the sweetened herbal tea into a large pitcher that holds around 64-oz or 8 cups. When straining tea, release all the liquid held in the tea by pressing a spoon down on the spent tea infusion sitting in the strainer. (If you used a filter or a cheesecloth, you can squeeze it over the pitcher to get out all the liquid).
Add to pitcher 4 cups of water and the 1/2 cup of lemon juice. Top with 1.5 to 2 cups ice and stir to combine. The ice will mostly melt, chilling the beverage so it can be enjoyed immediately.
Best served over ice in chilled glasses with thinly sliced lemon.
CHAMOMILE-LAVENDER TEA LEMONADE
TIME TO MAKE: 30 minutes
MAKES: 8 servings
SHORTCUT WITH READY-MADE LEMONADE:
For garnish, you can slice additional lemons and add them to the pitcher or drink dispenser. However, to economize and reuse, you can instead freeze the squeezed lemon halves and then add them in along with the ice. This will also help keep the tea lemonade cold. If there is leftover lemonade, remove the lemon halves or slices (if they sit too long, they will make the drink sour) and refrigerate.