There’s nothing more refreshing than a cool drink on a hot day- especially when it’s home-made from your own produce! Sweet, tart and delicious all at the same time, this old-fashioned lemon balm lemonade makes excellent use of a few lemons plus highlights one of the most under-used herbs, lemon balm.
Lemon balm is highly aromatic and a member of the mint family. It is a ‘top note’ herb with a bright, citrusy taste and subtle hints of mint. Both the stems and the leaves of lemon balm are edible, and can be used in all sorts of foods and drinks. So much more than just a garnish that gets discarded, here lemon balm adds its subtly sweet flavour to the zing of fresh lemons, and puts a twist on an otherwise simple concoction.
With just 4 ingredients plus a bit of time, old fashioned lemon balm lemonade is super-easy to make. You can scale the ingredients up or down, to make just the quantity you need. It’s easy to make it as sweet or tart as you want; simply add more or less lemon juice to the mixture.
Here’s how I make it.
Start by peeling the lemons. Put the rind into a mixing bowl and set the lemons aside in another bowl.
Add the chopped lemon balm then the sugar to the bowl. Pour over enough boiling water to cover the ingredients.
Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Set this mixture aside until fully cooled.
Once cool, strain the mixture into a jug. Juice the lemons.
Add the lemon juice and the mineral water to the jug. This will keep for 4 days in the fridge.
Old Fashioned Lemon Balm Lemonade
- 1 saucepan
- 1 mixing bowl
- 1 serving jug
- 4 whole lemons
- 150 grams caster sugar
- 1.2 litres mineral water soda or plain water could be used instead
- 1 bunch lemon balm
- 2 cups boiling water
- Peel the lemons and roughly chop half the lemon balm. Put the rinds & the chopped lemon balm into a heatproof mixing bowl.
- Boil 2 cups of water in a small saucepan.
- Pour the boiling water over the lemon rinds and lemon balm. Leave to infuse until cool.
- Once cool, remove the rind and lemon balm from the syrup then strain the mixture into a jug.
- Add the mineral water to the jug and mix through.
- Juice the lemons, then add the juice to the mixture- do this slowly and taste as you go, so you get the perfect sweet/tart balance for your palate.
- Just before serving, add the remaining lemon balm leaves and ice cubes.
- Garnish with lemon slices and serve.