Honey Vanilla Lemonade is your favorite summertime classic, taken up a notch with whole vanilla beans.
Is there anything more refreshing on a warm spring or summer day than lemonade? My kids love to squeeze the juice out of all the lemons we can find, simmer with some sugar, and serve over ice. Lemonade is equal parts sweet and tangy. Now with the addition of vanilla we get a little bit of sweet woodsiness to make us really feel one with nature.
How do we Make Honey Vanilla Lemonade?
First, you’ll need to find as many lemons as possible. You’re in luck if you have a lemon tree on your property. The next best thing is to befriend someone who does! Friends with lemon trees will be begging you to take them off their hands during peak season. About 20 good-sized lemons makes a batch of lemonade for our family of five to enjoy for a few days.
Lemons are extremely tart, so their juice gets combined with a simple syrup. Simple syrup is… simply… equal parts water and sugar, simmered until the sugar dissolves. To make the vanilla syrup we want to use here, all we add are the seeds scraped from a vanilla bean, and the halved pod. Let this all simmer for about 10 minutes and you’ll have a fragrant kitchen that’ll have your family salivating in no time.
Tip! If you zest your lemons before juicing them, you’ll have plenty of lemon zest on hand to add to sauces, baked goods, or cocktails. You can also slice the lemon rind after juicing to make sugared lemon peel or use it for a garnish.
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Honey Vanilla Lemonade is your favorite summertime classic, taken up a notch.
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 6 cups cold water, divided
- 1 vanilla bean
- 2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 10 lemons)
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar and 2 cups of water.
- Use a pairing knife to split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds and the split pod to the sugar water.
- Simmer the simple syrup until the sugar is completely dissolved, then remove from the heat and allow to sit for 10 minutes. This allows the vanilla pod to impart more flavor into the simple syrup.
- Strain the vanilla simple syrup into a pitcher, then stir in the lemon juice, and the remaining 4 cups of cold water.
- Serve honey vanilla lemonade over ice.