We had a blast with our lemonade experience. Since everybody has different likes and dislikes when it comes to flavors, we wanted to do a little experiment. Grayson and a group of his friends decided to pick a bunch of different leaves and flowers from our yard and add them to homemade lemonade to see which ones tasted the best. They gathered lemon verbena, Chinese mint, provence lavender, roses, jasmine, moujean tea leaves (Nashia inaguensis), kaffir lime leaves, lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), rosemary, basil, and stevia.
We boiled some water with brown sugar to make a sugar syrup to add as our sweetener. Then we lined up a bunch of glasses of water with freshly juiced lemon or lime. The kids decided which herbs and flowers to combine. To get our flavors, we heated a little water in a pot and briefly added the herbs to make an infusion. (The herbs would usually be left in the pot for 10 minutes with a cover to make an infusion, but we got plenty of flavor by infusing them briefly.) We then strained the flavored water into our glasses of lemon water and sugar.
Almost all of the concoctions turned out tasting really great and “kid approved”. The tasting panel consisted of two 8-year-olds, a 13-year-old, a 10-year old and a toddler. However, the basil lemonade did not please everybody. One of them said it was actually “disgusting” and one said it had an unpleasant after-taste. Grayson said he really liked it.
All the kid tasters loved the Chinese mint lemonade. It was extremely refreshing because it seemed to have more menthol than the spearmint I usually use.
The kids said they didn’t like the jasmine and rose petal lemonade, they loved it. I made sure they understood that the jasmines are the edible variety (maid of Orleans and Grand Duke of Tuscany Jasminum sambac). There are many varieties of jasmine that are poisonous. I also explained to them that most roses are sprayed with a ton of insecticides and fungicides. I don’t spray my roses with anything, therefore they are edible for us.
The lavender lemonade and the rosemary lemonade were nice. The kaffir lime leaf limeade was also good.
The lemon balm lemonade was outstanding and was the winner by a landslide. Not a single one of us had any intestinal distress of any sort and we all slept like babies. This was a fun time and we all want to do it again… next time with iced-tea.
Come grow with us!