Rosemary-infused lemonade

Rosemary, who would have thunk it

What’s better than a glass of lemonade on a hot summer day? If you answered air conditioning, you too might be living in the great American South. Down here we need a cold drink and AC. Those who want a kick can feel free to add the spirit of their choice; limoncello, vodka, or gin are good starting points.

Rosemary-infused lemonade

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs about 6″ long (strip the green, ditch the wood)
  • 1 1/2 cups lemon juice

Combine sugar and water in a two-quart saucepan and set over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved. Add rosemary and boil for about five more minutes, or until the water is golden. Take off heat and allow to steep until cooled to room temperature. Strain into a two-quart pitcher. Pour in lemon juice and fill the rest of the way with water. The mix will still be strong. If it’s too tart add more water as needed.

Cautions and notes: If you don’t want to smell like a really fancy hotel soap, you may want to use gloves when handling rosemary. Speaking of cool infused drinks: Check out Karen’s Summer Thyme Martini over at Back Road Journal. We’d love to have her weather now, but come January we wouldn’t trade for the world.

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About Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

This blog attempts to collect some of the things I try to create with food and booze. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. My hope is to entertain and maybe help people think a little harder about what they decide to eat and drink.
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81 Responses to Rosemary-infused lemonade

  1. Kristy says:

    I wouldn’t mind smelling like fancy hotel soap. ;) This sounds interesting. I’ve never thought of adding any kind of herb to lemonade. And I LOVE lemonade. Seriously, I’m a lemonade junkie. I’m going to have to give this a shot. I’ll pass on the vodka though. Vodka lemonades were my drink of choice in college…haven’t been able to touch the stuff since then. ;)

  2. rutheh says:

    Lemonade is the best. Will have to try your Rosemary infusion. Looks very refreshing.

  3. I remember needing a cold glass of lemonade and shade under a tree just to get a breeze. You see most homes down south didn’t have AC for a very long time when I was little. And this Rosemary-infused lemonade sounds delicious. I love it. I’m going to make this and sit on my grandmothers front porch and enjoy the breeze.

    • Katherine came in when I was canning the other day. She’d been outside for about 10 minutes and said can you imagine doing this without AC? How early did our grandmas have to get up?

      • My great-grandmother and great-grandfather would get up around 4 am and start working int he fields at 5 am. And they would come home and go to bed between 8 pm. I don’t know how they did it.. because I can’t lol. Buy my great-grandfather grew everything including watermelons.

  4. ChgoJohn says:

    I love rosemary and can’t drink enough lemonade when the heat is on, like now. Marrying the 2 is a great idea and I can’t wait to give it a try.

  5. This photo could not be any more beautiful!

  6. fati wants to try this…… :D Sounds AWESOME!

  7. This looks so refreshing and, yes, we sure do need some cool drinks and AC here. I am so tired of this heat!

  8. banbamama says:

    mmm this is making me thirsty! sounds lovely.

  9. Sissi says:

    Thank you for the wonderful idea! I think I might try it with limoncello. The photo is so beautiful I think I will go and buy some rosemary. Sadly I don’t have it on my balcony.

  10. ambrosiana says:

    Wow!! sounds and looks delicious!! Never seen something like that!! Great drink recipe!!

  11. Karen says:

    I’ll make your lemonade today as is going to get to 90 instead of our usual average of 80. Thank you so much for the link to my martini recipe.

  12. THIS sounds wonderful! Now, if only my rosemary had made it through the winter…
    Maybe I can sub lemon thyme? I’ll let you know…

  13. egg me on says:

    This is going to be PERFECT during our little New England heat wave over the next two days. Definitely adding gin. ;)

  14. Judy says:

    Love the photo! Not sure my family would go for the rosemary, but it is a great idea to infuse beverages with hints of herbal flavors like this.

  15. spicegirlfla says:

    Are you kidding, I love to have the smell of rosemary on my hands! It’s definitely an intense aroma, but like Basil, I could just inhale it all day! Your photo is so cool! I really like your style of eating and drinking!!

  16. We will definitely try this! Ritchey is always try to find new ways to use our rosemary! Did you know it’s good in popcorn? He chops it very fine and puts it in the hot oil before adding the corn!

  17. Gina Marie says:

    What an awesome photo! I have a lot of Rosemary I need to do something with.

  18. Sounds so good! I love the combination of lemon and rosemary!!! I used to make a Limoncello infused with rosemary and lavender. I should find that recipe again.

  19. Charles says:

    Who’d a thunk it indeed… I never would have thought of infusing lemonade with rosemary. Looks mighty interesting. If you want, you can share some of your heat with me here – it’s all cold and rainy at the moment, with it looking set to continue for some days at least :(

  20. TasteFood says:

    Lemon and rosemary are beautiful together – brilliant idea. And I love the idea of a splash of Limoncello. Somehow I don’t think I’ll be thinking of hotel soap, but a lamb roast instead.

  21. Wonderful – it´s just getting over 100 degrees here now too, so this would be perfect. Am not even fancying alcohol in this heat (very rare!)…

  22. I don’t think that I would have ever thought of this and it sounds perfectly brilliant. Kudos to you my friend!

  23. What a great combination with the rosemary. I would’ve never thought of that!

  24. Like you say, who would have thought – brilliant idea! I have lemons and rosemary growing in the garden but sadly it is not hot here. :-) Mandy

  25. Would never have thought of this combination, but it sounds great! A more grown-up version of lemonade. I also like that it’s good with or without alcohol so I could use it in different ways depending on circumstances and guests. And I love chopping fresh herbs by hand… nothing better than that smell! Mmm..

  26. sounds delightful i only wish it was warm enough in england right now to need refreshing!!

  27. Kendra says:

    Nice idea! I mostly just use mint in my lemonade but this would be something different.

  28. I add rosemary to just about every savoury dish that comes out of my kitchen- thanks to the thriving plant in the garden- but have never thought to add it to lemonade. Thanks for the inspiration!

  29. That looks so delicious and refreshing!! Great idea! :)

  30. Kelly says:

    Gorgeous photo – I feel like diving in! It’s 45 degrees with humidex in Ottawa today (’bout 115 F) but that’s not a complaint (Canadians are very careful NEVER to complain about the heat) so bring on the rosemary lemonade minus the vodka (I think Kristy and I must have gone to the same college in different countries) did I hear tequila? :)

  31. nrhatch says:

    I wondered what you did with all the lovely rosemary in your yard. :D

    Thanks for the tip!

  32. Caroline says:

    LOVE rosemary. You’re right–who woulda thunk it would be so delicious in lemonade? I’m liking the limoncello option. :) I bought a cookbook a while back at Sur la Table for an awesome limoncello recipe and have yet to make it. I’m thinking I’ll have to give it a shot before summer ends.

  33. Yuri says:

    I thought of adding rosemary to my limeade but then left it out since it had so many flavors already… I love rosemary scent, wouldn’t mind smelling like fancy hotel soap ;)

  34. Holly says:

    This sounds a little bit weird… Never heard of such a combo – is it partly just to use a bit of that massive rosemary bush you’ve got going on?

  35. This sounds like it would be great with some gin :).

  36. Tiff says:

    Thanks for the bit of caution. Consider it noted. :)

  37. Amy says:

    I wouldn’t think to put rosemary in lemonade, but that sounds like a great idea! How refreshing :)

  38. How come everytime I come to your blog I end up eyeing up my liquor cabinet and thinking of new and creative ways to use it all! I’m not complaining, this looks great!

  39. Looks fantastic…love rosemary with sweet things…have not tried it in a beverage but it sounds fab.

  40. Oh my, this looks fantastically refreshing. I love love love lemon and rosemary. What a great summer combination!

  41. I would love this with vodka! Yum yum!

  42. SimpleP says:

    I like rosemary in my stuffing, but in my lemonade? Not many recipes make my brows raise. What an interesting mix of sweet, sour and savory. We make fresh lemonade all the time, I’ll grab a sprig from the garden and give it a try. I do love your photos!

  43. Elle says:

    You had me at vodka! I’m totally a southern girl, so I definitely answered AC to your question. If I’m stuck outside there is nothing better than a vodka & lemonade or a vodka & cranberry to cool off with.

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  45. I actually just had this the other day at a market and it was wonderful – the rosemary cut the sweetness nicely. I’m glad you posted this recipe so that I can recreate it at home now!

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  47. rsmacaalay says:

    Wow this is a great idea, never had tried something like this but with pandan (screwpine)

  48. eatlovedrink says:

    I just made this, too! I mixed it with gin and served in up in martini glasses, garnished with a twist. Loved it (though…I put in a bit too much rosemary…overpowered the herbals in the gin, so if you’re doing that, you might want to dial back the rosemary a wee bit). So, I’m going to say you’re not crazy at all…this stuff is fab!

  49. Yummmmy!

    If you’re looking for another great lemonade, check out this sparkling mint lemonade!
    http://hangontoyourfork.com/2011/07/22/sparkling-mint-lemonade-deliciousness/

  50. midaevalmaiden says:

    I plan to try this one. Im always making fresh lemonade and looking for things to spice it up with. Thanks for the idea!

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  52. I usuakky add mint to my lemonade but rosemary sounds amazing too..

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  55. theslowroasteditalian says:

    Love this! I was staring at my rosemary today with gleaming scissors in my hand. I backed off, I guess I feel it has sacraficed enough of its loveliness this week so I went and hacked up some thyme. It was for a good cause. : ) Rosemary Lemonade is definitely on the list!!!

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