A simple glass of lemonade gains intrigue with the addition of pomegranate or sour cherry juice and rosewater. This combination is a popular drink in the Middle East since it is cooling, refreshing and thirst-quenching; occasionally I add a few sprigs of spearmint, or a few tablespoons of pomegranate molasses or sour cherry syrup and decrease the sugar by 1/4 cup when making the lemonade. MAKES ABOUT 2 1/2 QUARTS OF POMEGRANATE LEMONADE
• 6 lemons
• 2 quarts water
• 1 cup sugar, or to taste
• 1 lemon, thinly sliced with seeds removed
• About 2 cups pomegranate juice and/or sour cherry juice
• 1 to 2 tablespoons rosewater or 1/4 cup rose syrup
• Sparkling water, optional
• Pomegranate seeds or rose petals, optional
• Few sprigs spearmint, optional
1. To make lemonade, squeeze juice from lemons. Bring water to a boil and stir in sugar to dissolve. Add citrus juice, stir well and add citrus slices. Let cool to room temperature.
2. Add pomegranate juice and smaller amount of rosewater or syrup to lemonade and stir to combine. Taste to adjust rosewater or syrup and refrigerate until ready to serve. Fill glasses with ice cubes or rose petal ice cubes and pour lemonade over cubes. Add a splash of sparkling water if desired. Garnish glasses with a teaspoon of pomegranate seeds, a few rose petals and/or a mint sprig, and serve.
Susan Belsinger loves immersing herself in all things herbal and looks forward to researching, growing, cooking and photographing each new Herb of the Year.
To read more about roses, see the International Herb Association’s book, Rose, Herb of the Year 2012, edited by Susan Belsinger. To purchase, visit The International Herb Association website.
Click here for the main article, 2012 Herb of the Year: The Rose (Rosa spp.).