RECIPE: 8 Seasonal Lemonades from the Summer Greenmarket

We scoured the Greenmarket for ingredients for 8 summery market-sourced lemonades. Drink up!

lemonade

Is there anything more refreshing (more necessary) than a tall, frosty glass of lemonade on a summer day? On a hot June afternoon, it’s all I want—and a hammock, and a book. And while you’d be hard-pressed to find a local New York lemon, you can doctor up a pitcher of basic lemonade with a lot of what you see at the Greenmarket.

On a muggy June morning, Lauren WilsonMarissa Finn and I met up early at the Union Square Greenmarket, scouted out the best of the late-spring-early-summer offerings, and slurped homemade lemonade all day long. Here are our favorite seasonal market-sourced flavor variations, but as the season progresses and raspberries, peaches, and cucumbers arrive at the market stalls, feel free to stray from our recommendations and stir in whatever looks (and smells and tastes) delicious.

Start with our recipe for basic lemonade; it’s an easy ratio of 1 part simple syrup, 1 part freshly squeezed lemon juice and 2 parts cool water—all of it poured over a lot of ice. It’s in the simple syrup where things start to get jazzy: infuse it by adding . (You can also add something a little stronger for the 21+ crowd. And everyone, regardless of age, should get a stripey straw. We love the colorful, eco-friendly ones from Brooklyn-based Susty Party we used in our photo shoot.)

Each of the recipes below makes 2 glasses of lemonade. Making a pitcher? Just adjust the ratio accordingly.

lemonade

Plain Lemonade
·      1/2 cup lemon juice
·      1/2 cup simple syrup (¼ cup sugar dissolved in a saucepan with ¼ cup water)
·      1 cup water

Stir together all ingredients and serve over ice in two tall glasses.

lemonade

Lavender Lemonade
·      1/2 cup lavender simple syrup: 4 tablespoons lavender, ⅔ cup plain simple syrup
·      1/2 cup lemon juice
·      1 cup water

Make the lavender simple syrup by pouring ⅔ cups plain simple syrup into a saucepan and sprinkling with 4 tablespoons of cooking lavender. Simmer over low heat until the syrup has thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Strain the syrup through a fine mesh sieve (carefully! The syrup will be very hot.) Measure out ½ cup of the strained syrup and combine with lemon juice and water. Serve over ice.

Sage Lemonade
·      1/2 cup sage simple syrup (15 fresh sage leaves, 2/3 cup simple syrup)
·      1/2 cup lemon juice
·      1 cup water

Follow process for making the lavender-infused simple syrup, above, to make the sage-infused simple syrup. Combine ½ cup of the strained sage simple syrup with lemon juice and water. Serve over ice.

Ginger-Rhubarb Lemonade
·      2 tablespoons ginger-rhubarb compote: 1 ½ cups chopped rhubarb, 2 tablespoons grated ginger
·      1/2 cup simple syrup
·      1/2 cup lemon juice
·      1 cup water

To make the ginger-rhubarb compote, combine chopped rhubarb and grated ginger in a saucepan over medium-low heat and stir occasionally until jammy in consistency, about 10 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool. When the compote is cool, combine 2 tablespoons of the compote with the simple syrup, lemon juice and water. Stir well and serve over ice.

Strawberry-Basil Lemonade
·      2 tablespoons strawberry-basil compote: 4 tablespoons torn fresh basil, 3 cups chopped fresh strawberries, ¼ cup water
·      1/2 cup lemon juice
·      1/2 cup simple syrup
·      1 cup water

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the torn basil, chopped strawberries, and ¼ water and stir occasionally until jammy in consistency, about 10 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool. When the compote is cool, combine 2 tablespoons of the compote with the simple syrup, lemon juice and water. Stir well and serve over ice.

Habanero Lemonade
·     1/2 cup habanero simple syrup: 1 habanero pepper, thinly sliced and seeds removed and discarded; ⅔ cup plain simple syrup
·     1/2 cup lemon juice
·     1 cup water

Follow process for making the lavender-infused simple syrup, above, to make the habanero-infused simple syrup. Combine ½ cup of the strained habanero simple syrup with lemon juice and water. Serve over ice.

Rosemary Lemonade
·     ½ cup rosemary simple syrup: 4 sprigs fresh rosemary, ⅔ cup plain simple syrup
·     ½ cup lemon juice
·     1 cup water

Follow process for making the lavender-infused simple syrup, above, to make the rosemary-infused simple syrup. Combine ½ cup of the strained rosemary simple syrup with lemon juice and water. Serve over ice.

Mint Lemonade

·   ½ cup mint simple syrup: 15 leaves mint, ⅔ cup simple syrup
·   ½ cup lemon juice
·   1 cup water

Follow process for making the lavender-infused simple syrup, above, to make the mint-infused simple syrup. Combine ½ cup of the strained mint simple syrup with lemon juice and water. Serve over ice.

Photographs by Lauren WilsonSpecial thanks to our friends at Susty Party for the wonderful straws.

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Caroline Lange

Caroline Lange is a writer and cook based in Brooklyn, NY.