There’s something about sunny, warm weather that makes me want to relax on the porch… I can’t think of a better way to end a day spent outdoors than kicking back with a refreshing beverage on the patio. We’ve been fortunate in Juneau so far this spring in that we’ve had a lot of chances to enjoy evenings outside. Of course, we’ve also had to clean our table and chairs anytime we want to sit on the porch thanks to the insane pollen release this year… EVERYTHING’s been covered in yellow! Whenever Penguin (our black tuxedo cat) would come in from outside, it looked like he’d had his fur frosted with blonde. I’m just so glad that neither of us are allergic to pollen!
Anyway, despite billowing clouds of pollen, we’ve been enjoying our porch a lot so far this year. Our drink of choice has frequently been Alaskan Brewing Company’s Raspberry Wheat – a terrific summer beer! But since my new Tupelo Honey Cafe cookbook arrived, we’ve also been sipping on this Peach Herb Lemonade…
I really enjoyed Tupelo Honey Cafe’s first cookbook, so when their second was released I made sure to order it. I bought it for the food recipes, but when I was flipping through it the first time it was their lemonade recipe that caught my eye. I’d finally made it to their restaurant in Knoxville when I was visiting my family over Christmas this year, and my friend had ordered this drink. Once I tasted it I understood why it was one of her favorite things on the menu. The savory element of the rosemary perfectly complements the sweetness from the peaches. Needless to say, I was happy to see that recipe in the cookbook.
It was feeling like summer in Juneau (and what’s more summery than peaches?!) and I had leftover rosemary in the fridge, so I decided to whip up a batch for our nightly porch-sit. Of course, I adapted the recipe to make it an “adult” lemonade – because that’s just more fun – by spiking it with rum. You could probably also spike it with vodka, but I’m just more of a rum person. I’ve also included instructions for keeping it virgin if that’s what you prefer or you want it to be kid-friendly. I hope you enjoy this easy and delicious concoction!
Peach Herb Lemonade
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
3/4 c. Water
3/4 c. Rum (or more water to keep it virgin)
12 oz. Peach Nectar (1 can)
1 c. Lemon Juice
1 1/3 c. Water
1 c. Sugar
4 sprigs Fresh Rosemary
1. Start by making your rosemary simple syrup: Combine the 1 1/3 c. water with the sugar and rosemary in a small saucepan. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Once the syrup is boiling, remove from the heat and allow to cool. Once it is cooled, remove the rosemary and discard.
Tip: To get plenty of rosemary flavor in your syrup, lightly bruise the rosemary with the back of a knife before adding it to the pot.
2. Combine the remaining ingredients with 1 1/4 c. of the rosemary simple syrup you just made (you should have ~1/2 c. of the simple syrup remaining – the perfect amount for another half batch!). Mix well and chill before serving.
Note: For a homemade lemonade I like to squeeze my own lemons. It may add a little time to your prep, but I think it’s worth it. For 1 cup of lemon juice it usually takes 5-6 lemons. If you’re using store-bought lemon juice make sure to check the label, sometimes they add extra preservatives (though why lemon juice, which is full of citric acid, would need added preservatives is beyond me…).
This drink is perfect served in a mason jar. If you’re feeling fancy, add a sprig of rosemary as a finishing touch!
Now you’re ready for an afternoon/evening of outdoor relaxation! A friendly word of warning if you do decide to spike it, this drink can be dangerous – the rum is completely masked by the lemonade. This lemonade would be wonderful for a cook-out, bbq, or pool party. Need ideas for another summer pitcher drink? Check out our Peach Tea Cocktail, another beverage perfect for summer entertaining…