Orange Blossom and Mint Lemonade

“It’s like drinking sunshine,” said my 11 year old cousin when she tried my orange blossom scented lemonade. Although her unexpected and poetic compliment made my day, I can’t take any credit. First of all, the idea comes from my friend Muna (whom you’ve met before). Second, it’s all in the lemon and orange blossom pairing.

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Some combinations in perfumery are considered absolutely perfect. There are classical ones like coumarin and lavender, personal innovations like Jacques Guerlain’s bergamot and vanilla in Shalimar, or modern discoveries like cotton candy and patchouli in Thierry Mugler Angel. And then, you have natural marriages like orange blossom and citrus that are so harmonious than after you try it once, you know that these two are meant to be together.

Orange blossom essence comes from the citrus flowers, but the scent is not zesty and bright like that of citrus peel. If, as I suggest here, you experiment with orange blossom water, you will find it sweet, green and floral. It smells like a handful of white, soft petals. But add it to citrus–be it sharp lemon, peppery bergamot or candy-like clementine orange, and the petals sparkle. The lemon and orange blossom combination in particular is pure joy.

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To experience this transformation, I suggest a simple lemonade recipe. There are as many ways of making lemonade as there are families, and it seems that everyone has their own absolute favorite recipe. I’m always ready to try new versions, but I’m partial to the Middle Eastern variation, which calls for macerating lemons and sugar. Much of the citrus flavor is in the peel, and by letting fruit and sugar meld together, you unlock the full potential of lemon and find that it too has a delicate floral sweetness.

lemonade4lemonade3

I also love the hands-on experience of making this lemonade: plunging my hands in a bowl of cut up lemons and sugar, squeezing the daylights out of spongy yellow peels and letting the thick, tart syrup run down my fingers.  I splash orange blossom water liberally, crush mint leaves and in the end, everything, myself included, smells like orange flowers and lemons. It’s like wearing Serge Lutens Fleurs de Citronnier but even better.

Plus, how can I resist a taste of sunshine?

lemons

Orange Blossom and Mint Lemonade

The longer you macerate lemon in sugar, the more flavorful the lemonade becomes, but it also acquires a slight bitter note. If you don’t like any bitterness in your lemonade, 2 hours of maceration would suffice. The lemonade lasts for several days in the fridge, so two people battling the summer heat can easily go through this quantity within a reasonable time. Feel free to cut the quantities in half though.

Another sunny variation: substitute one lemon with one orange or two mandarins and reduce the sugar slightly.

Makes 8-9 cups

2 lb lemons (about 8 large ones)
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
2 Tablespoon orange blossom water
4 sprigs of mint
8 cups cool water

Cut lemons in quarters. In a large bowl, crush lemon pieces with sugar, squeezing out the juice. Cover and let macerate for 2 hours or overnight in the fridge.

Once the lemon and sugar have macerated, add water, mix well and strain. Add orange blossom water and lightly crushed mint leaves. Chill in the fridge and serve.

For my favorite brands of orange blossom water and where to buy it, please click on the orange-blossom-water tag.

How do you make lemonade?

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

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96 Comments

  • Lucas: I love LOVE those beautiful pictures, you’re such a talented photographer Victoria!
    And how fun that you mention Fleurs de Citronnier. It’s one of the Lutenses I can easily wear. Actually I reviewed it last week too!

    And speaking of mint, a friend from a Cool Cook Style blog asked me to write a guest post and I chose a topic of fresh summer mint tea I love to prepare in the season. Nothing better like a fresh and aromatic mint leaves straight from the plant. July 2, 2013 at 7:47am Reply

    • Victoria: Even just a glass of water with some crushed mint leaves is a great refreshment on a hot summer day. I love mint.

      Thank you! July 2, 2013 at 10:58am Reply

    • Daisy: To go up soon! Thanks, Lucas!

      All these wonderful drink recipes are perfect this time of year. This one in particular looks amazing! I must try it soon!

      Macerating the lemons in the sugar reminds me of something I recently saw on Food 52 (do you read them?) about using cane sugar to scrub the outside of the lemons before juicing them, and then adding the lemon oil-infused sugar to the juice for lemonade.

      In any case, it’s great to see all of these tips. I never tire of them. Kind of like how I never tire of seeing how many different ways there are to roast a chicken 🙂 July 12, 2013 at 7:31pm Reply

      • Victoria: A friend once served me espresso with a piece of lemon rubbed sugar cube. That was wonderful! July 14, 2013 at 5:33pm Reply

        • Daisy: That does sound wonderful! Another must try! July 14, 2013 at 5:49pm Reply

  • sara: beautiful photos! your lemonade recipe sounds great and different. i’ll be trying it soon. July 2, 2013 at 8:55am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you, Sara! Hope that you like it. 🙂 July 2, 2013 at 10:59am Reply

  • Eric: I once found orange vs orange flower confusing. I thought that they should smell more or less similar. After reading blogs I now know better.

    I enjoyed reading the explanation of pairings. Can’t wait to try your orange blossom and lemon combination too. July 2, 2013 at 9:20am Reply

    • Victoria: I love thinking about these natural harmonies, because they can be so inspiring. And sometimes you come up with new recipes just based on playing with flavor combinations. July 2, 2013 at 11:03am Reply

  • Zazie: I love your recipe: I have never thought of making lemonade taking advantage of the wonderful flavor captive in the lemon peel. Must try.
    I’m on a quest for a good orange flower water: at my local supermarket you can find only a thin and quite artificial version.
    I can imagine the pairing of lemon and orange flower tasting like sunshine bottled!!!! July 2, 2013 at 10:32am Reply

    • Victoria: Have you checked at the pharmacies? I’ve seen here the best quality floral waters on the pharmacy shelves. My local supermarket also carries something, for which no orange petal was sacrificed. July 2, 2013 at 11:05am Reply

      • Zazie: I didn’t suspect I could find orange water in pharmacies! thanks for the tip!!! July 2, 2013 at 11:08am Reply

        • Victoria: One of our European comments mentioned it to me, and it was such a revelation. In general, pharmacies in Europe are a treasure trove of interesting stuff. In Italy, another fascinating pharmacy find for me was essenza di senape, mustard essence, which is used in mostarda. Unfortunately, here you can’t find it anywhere, so I have to wait till my next trip to find some. July 2, 2013 at 12:25pm Reply

  • RenChick: Oh, this sounds so good! I look forward to trying it.

    And thank you for the online sources for the orange blossom water. I always enjoy finding new sources for gourmet and exotic foods that I can’t find locally in Smalltown, USA. 🙂 July 2, 2013 at 10:33am Reply

    • Victoria: If I’m feeling lazy, I just add a splash of orange blossom water and some lemon slices to a pitcher of water. So refreshing!

      When I lived in a small university town, I’ve discovered a lot of websites to order some of these interesting ingredients. My husband was even encouraging me to put together a little guide! July 2, 2013 at 11:08am Reply

      • RenChick: That does sound very good and refreshing, and like a very good no-sugar option as well.

        And if you decided to put together a guide, I’d be quite happy. I’m sure there are quite a few people on here, myself included, that could provide you with even more sources. I’ve come across quite a few good ones as I’ve explored one of my other hobbies, jam and preserve making. I love exploring new flavoring ingredients and combinations. In fact, even now, I am mulling over how to make a marmalade with the flavors in this recipe! July 2, 2013 at 11:28am Reply

        • Victoria: Apricot and orange blossom or peach and orange blossom work really well. Pear is another one. I also love reading old cookbooks, because sometimes you find such unexpected pairings. For instance, in old Russian or French cookbooks, red currants are often paired with rose and a bit of raspberries. Imagine a raspberry-rose flavored red currant jelly!

          I will do! At least, I would have all of my favorites in the same spot. 🙂 July 2, 2013 at 12:57pm Reply

          • RenChick: Oh my, those combos DO sound very tasty indeed! I have to agree on the old cookbooks. I have a couple of older food preservation books from the early 1900s and before (reprints) that have some flavor combos I haven’t seen anywhere in newer books. I’ve gotten inspiration from cookbooks on Middle Eastern and Indian foods as well.

            And raspberry-rose currant jelly? Guess what fruits I have in my freezer waiting for inspiration? Some red currants and some raspberries, and I have food-grade dried red rose petals and some good rosewater standing by! I think I will have to make that one! The raspberry rose jam I made last year was pretty good too.

            I can’t wait to read your list of favorite food sources. So many more flavors and scents to try! July 2, 2013 at 8:25pm Reply

            • Karen: I have some tart cherries and rose syrup macerating in the frig now! Also, earlier when my roses were in full bloom, I made up a delicious rose lemonade – very pretty and refreshing.

              When it is really hot, I love diluted orange juice with fresh mint – sounds a little weird but is super cooling and good. July 3, 2013 at 8:00am Reply

              • Victoria: Sounds perfect to me! Mint and orange is another great perfumery match. July 3, 2013 at 12:47pm Reply

              • RenChick: Karen, how did your cherries turn out? That really sounds delicious! I don’t have ready access to tart cherries in the area of the US I’m in now, but I’ll have some later this month and look forward to trying this flavor combination.

                And your diluted orange juice and mint doesn’t sound weird at all. I regularly dilute fruit juices with either plain or carbonated water; sometimes I just want the shadow of the flavor instead of all that sweetness and intensity. Have you seen any of the recipes for fruit and herb infused spa waters that cropped up recently on the Internet? July 8, 2013 at 2:06pm Reply

                • Karen: The preserves came out good! Definitely worth trying. With sour cheery jam, I like the syrup part more than the cherries, so the rose adds a yummy flavor. July 8, 2013 at 3:01pm Reply

                  • RenChick: Karen, I think I will try making a sour cherry and rose syrup now, thank you for the idea. Glad they turned out so well for you! July 13, 2013 at 3:54pm Reply

            • Victoria: Oh, this reminds me of a raspberry jam recipe I made following the instructions from an old Russian book–macerate berries with a spoonful of cognac and sugar overnight (same quantity of sugar as berries). Next day, cook your jam till set. The cognac makes berries firm and adds a violet like accent.

              If you like interesting jam ideas, I recommend Christine Ferber’s jam book. She is an Alsatian pastry chef and jam maker and her book is filled with many interesting ideas. July 3, 2013 at 12:00pm Reply

              • RenChick: Victoria, that sounds delicious as well! I’m assuming any good quality cognac would work equally well. I have one more recipe idea to add for this summer, thank you!

                And you are correct; Christine Ferber has many interesting flavor ideas in her book. That book is one of the first ones I got when I first started jam and jelly making a couple years ago.

                You might like Salt Sugar Smoke, by Diane Henry as well. Not only does she have some really interesting flavor combinations and ideas for preserved foods of all sorts, but she has a lot of imaginative ideas for using those preserves in meals. July 8, 2013 at 2:31pm Reply

                • Karen: Yes, the book is full of tasty and inspiring recipes. Someone gave me a jar of quince with vanilla and I just stood with a spoon saying, “Just one more bite!” till most of the jar was gone!

                  Almost 20 years ago I built our home (carpenters union before kids), and I made jam and sold it at a local farmer’s market to pay for finishing it up. So much jam!! July 8, 2013 at 3:13pm Reply

                  • Victoria: You’re amazing! And this is very impressive. I imagine that you’re quite a jam maven at this point, so I look forward to learning more tips from you. July 8, 2013 at 6:48pm Reply

                    • Karen: Thank you for the kind words! Seems as though you have managed to attract a group of amazing and inspiring followers to Bois de jasmin! Must have something to do with your beautiful writing and approach to life! July 9, 2013 at 3:08am

                    • Victoria: Perfume draws such a fascinating group of people, different backgrounds and even geographical locations notwithstanding. Thanks to Bois de Jasmin, I’m meeting more and more such passionate, interesting people all the time, and I feel grateful for this. July 9, 2013 at 8:16am

                  • RenChick: Mmmmm… quince and vanilla… sounds like my reaction to it. LOL July 13, 2013 at 3:52pm Reply

                • Victoria: Thank you so much for this recommendation! I went straight to Amazon.de (the US amazon somehow doesn’t offer the “look inside” feature) and fell in love with this book. It’s on my to-order list. The beautiful photos and stories are cherry on top of the cake. July 8, 2013 at 6:47pm Reply

                  • RenChick: Sorry for the late response, long week!

                    I’m so glad you liked the looks of the book and hope you enjoy it as much as I have. It was one I HAD to have the first time I previewed it! I completely agree with your assessment of it. I haven’t made anything out of it yet, but just reading the recipes has my creative juice flowing. 😀 July 13, 2013 at 3:51pm Reply

                    • Karen: The recipes are great, although the jams can be runny (at least for me). If you like a firmer set and don’t have access to either green apple jelly or crabapples (both can be used in lieu of pectin), then just use regular pectin for jams or jellies. For rose or lavender jelly, use liquid pectin. Have fun! July 13, 2013 at 5:00pm

  • Nina Z: This looks so wonderful! And I just happen to have lemons and fresh mint growing in my backyard, and orange blossom water in my kitchen, which I use for white coffee, so I’m all set. It’s even kind of warm here now, which is rare because I’m in a part of the San Francisco Bay Area that tends to be cool during the summer. So I will definitely give this a try. July 2, 2013 at 10:52am Reply

    • Victoria: Lucky you, Nina! My stepmom just sent me photos from her garden and she has peaches, lemons and oranges. Sounds like a corner of paradise to me. 🙂

      Please let me know how you like this lemonade. July 2, 2013 at 11:12am Reply

    • Lila: Hmmm, orange blossom water and coffee. I’m gonna have to try that too. July 2, 2013 at 11:41am Reply

      • Victoria: I wonder if Nina is talking about cafe blanc, which is hot water + orange blossom water, a traditional Lebanese drink.

        http://boisdejasmin.com/2012/08/cafe-blanc-lebanese-orange-blossom-hot-drink.html

        But I’ve also tried adding orange blossom water to regular black coffee, and if you get the balance right, the result is unusual and good enough to be worn as a perfume. July 2, 2013 at 12:58pm Reply

        • Lila: Ahh, I thought she meant coffee with cream. Either way it sounds yummy! July 2, 2013 at 2:03pm Reply

          • Victoria: Cafe blanc is my favorite evening drink. It’s so soothing, especially after a long, exhausting day. July 2, 2013 at 5:01pm Reply

        • Nina Z: Yes, I meant the cafe blanc. I had it at a restaurant in Vancouver where they called it “white coffee” and fell instantly in love. I bought a bottle of orange blossom water as soon as I got back home. It was later on that I saw that Victoria also loves this drink and has the recipe on her blog. July 2, 2013 at 5:22pm Reply

          • Victoria: I remember reading someplace that Francis Kurkdjian was influenced by cafe blanc when he created APOM. But the closest one for me would Goutal’s Neroli, prob because it is so simple. July 3, 2013 at 11:47am Reply

  • G.: Thank you for sharing this recipe, Victoria. Your words and photos are so inspiring. Btw, I have just taken out of my laundry basket a white linen napkin that looks just like the one in the photo! 😉 Now to get my hands on a good quality orange blossom water… July 2, 2013 at 10:54am Reply

    • Victoria: 🙂 I love the white on white embroidery for linens.

      Muna’s mother is an excellent cook, so I’ve learned lots of great dishes from her. This lemonade is one of them. Hope that others like it too. July 2, 2013 at 1:01pm Reply

  • Karina: Ooh this post has me dreaming of summer!

    I live in Australia (and in a rather cold part) so right now we are in the depths of winter, which is my least favourite season.

    After reading this delicious-sounding recipe I have yet another reason to long for summer days. July 2, 2013 at 10:57am Reply

    • Victoria: Karina, I hear you, our summer has not been much of a fantasy–cold, rainy, overcast. I’ve been conjuring it up in such little ways. Something delicious and sunny always helps. July 2, 2013 at 1:25pm Reply

  • Lila: That sounds exactly like a pitcher full of FdC! I’m going to try making it today. One time I steeped lavender in hot water, cooled it and added it to the lemon juice. It tasted good but the lavender gave the juice a grey color which I didn’t find very appetizing. July 2, 2013 at 11:36am Reply

    • Victoria: Hmm, yes, I can see that. I suppose you could add some raspberry juice to color it or some bluish food grade color. The idea sounds very nice though! July 2, 2013 at 1:27pm Reply

  • Jillie: Sorry for being late! But I had to write to say how yummy this looks, and I will try it this weekend. It brought back memories of my mother making lemonade when I was little, and I still have her recipe – much like yours, and I remember her steeping sliced lemons in a big bowl overnight, but without the delicious addition of orange blossom and mint, which would be heaven. An ingredient she used, which I am wondering about, is citric acid powder; I am supposing this would give an extra dimension of zing? July 2, 2013 at 1:44pm Reply

    • Victoria: My grandmother also used citric acid in some of her lemonade recipes, which I assumed was because lemons were expensive, while citric acid weren’t. But it was the Soviet times, so it probably doesn’t apply to your case. I also imagine that citric acid will give a strong, sharp accent, lifting up the other flavors. My grandmother also used to use citric acid in her jam recipes, but these days she prefers to mince a piece of lemon, peel and zest included, instead. July 2, 2013 at 4:54pm Reply

      • Jillie: I think you’re right on both counts. My mum lived through the war and came from a very poor family, so I imagine that lemons were a rarity and expensive; the citric acid must have made a few go further. And I’ve noticed that manufacturers add it to products, presumably to enhance flavouring and give you the impression that there’s more citrus than there really is! July 3, 2013 at 2:10am Reply

        • Victoria: It’s a good ingredient to have on hand, since you can make a dish sour without adding extra liquid.

          I remember lemons at the time as something exotic and luxurious, so I still have a certain reverence for them. But this year a Sicilian friend gave me 25kg (!!) of lemons, and I went all out figuring out how to use them. Grilled lemons was one of our top favorites. July 3, 2013 at 12:46pm Reply

      • Karen: The citric acid your grandmother used in jam recipes would have been to help the jam set (get hard). If a fruit is low in acid, and you don’t want a loose, runny jam adding lemon juice or citric acid will make it firm. July 3, 2013 at 8:04am Reply

        • Victoria: It took me some time to figure that out when I started making jam myself! 🙂

          She also says that it cuts the sweetness a little. But I love her jams now in which she simply cooks some chopped up lemons. July 3, 2013 at 12:55pm Reply

  • Figuier: Great post and comments! We’re getting through about 12 lemons a week in out kitchen right now, using the rind and juice in salads, drinks, desserts, savoury stews, marinades…this recipe sounds like a glorious addition to the repertoire, I love the sound of that synergy between blossom and fruit.

    It also has me lusting for a perfume equivalent – any tips other than FdC? I find SL’s florals quite difficult, unfortunately. July 2, 2013 at 1:57pm Reply

    • Victoria: Lemon would be one of the ingredients I’d take on a desert island. It’s just so versatile. 🙂

      For a lemony orange blossom, I would also recommend Atelier Cologne Grand Neroli, Maison Francis Kurkdjian APOM (Women’s), or Lancome O de l’Orangerie. The last one is sweeter, more floral, but it’s very pretty and easy to wear. July 2, 2013 at 5:00pm Reply

  • Alexandra Cassar: Victoria! I can not wait to try your recipe! What a great refreshing idea for the 4th of July long weekend. 🙂

    I usually do green tea, fresh lemon and mint also a nice summer drink. xo July 2, 2013 at 3:36pm Reply

  • maja: In summer I love adding sparkling water and a bit of elderflower syrup. Huge slices of lemon and lots of ice. 🙂 July 2, 2013 at 3:52pm Reply

    • maja: However, macerating lemons in sugar seems essential. And it makes sense. Will try it tomorrow. Thank you so much for sharing. July 2, 2013 at 3:56pm Reply

      • Victoria: My pleasure! I hope that you like it. July 2, 2013 at 5:04pm Reply

    • Victoria: I need to find some elderflower syrup around here. It’s one of my favorite refreshing drinks. July 2, 2013 at 5:04pm Reply

  • Austenfan: I originally intended to make some elderflower syrup using Andy’s violet flower recipe. The elder flowers are almost gone, and I still haven’t got round to it. They didn’t seem very fragrant this year for some reason.
    Your recipe sounds delicious. I don’t drink a lot of lemonade, although I do like it a lot, mainly because it contains quite a bit of sugar.
    I may have to make this one day. Mint and lemon and orange blossom do sound great together. July 2, 2013 at 4:19pm Reply

    • Victoria: If my husband had his way, we would have this lemonade with no sugar at all, and sometimes I make something like that (chilled mineral water, lots of lemon slices, mint, orange blossom water). But that being said, this recipe in particular is less sweet than most. For 1kg of lemons you need only 100g of sugar. You can even reduce it further, since you have many other flavors there. July 2, 2013 at 5:06pm Reply

  • Andy: I love this idea—I will have to try this recipe! Fragrant flowers and flower waters really make summer drinks spectacular. My sambac jasmine finally started blooming today, and its aroma is truly unparalleled. I love crushing a few flowers lightly and pouring some iced white tea over them. July 2, 2013 at 6:46pm Reply

    • Victoria: Now, this jasmine white tea idea sounds like heaven! July 3, 2013 at 11:49am Reply

  • Ann: I look forward to trying orange blossom water in several drinks. It never occurred to me! I sometimes make a lemonade variation with fresh grapefruit and mint (I use sparkling water and a little less sugar), and I am betting that adding orange blossom will take it to another level… for those of you in the depths of winter…my father is constantly making jam and jelly preserves, and one of his favorite sweet, warm drinks is a table-spoon of one of his jams swirled into hot water. July 2, 2013 at 11:46pm Reply

    • Victoria: Your variation sounds fantastic! Makes me think of a beautiful citrus essence I work with sometimes, grapefruit blossom absolute. July 3, 2013 at 12:40pm Reply

  • Little Red: I just need to buy some mint and I’m all set since I have all the other ingredients. Can’t wait to try it out. July 3, 2013 at 12:56am Reply

    • Victoria: I forgot to say that mint also uplifts the other flavors. Makes it more refreshing too. July 3, 2013 at 12:42pm Reply

  • Martha: I will save your recipe; it looks very tasty. And it makes sense to macerate the lemons in sugar. The photos are beautiful, too. When I make lemonade, I usually make it by the glass. I use seltzer, whole lemons, agave nectar or simple syrup, and ice. I have an old-fashion glass juicer, and a citrus squeezer (not sure of the proper name for this gadget). The aroma of freshly juiced lemons is divine no matter how you go about it. July 3, 2013 at 8:20am Reply

    • Victoria: Gosh, I’m so craving a glass of your lemonade now! 🙂

      When our Indian aunt makes hers, she uses lime juice (Indian lemons taste more lime like to me), sugar and a pinch of salt. Another perfect thirst quencher. Even the commercial soft drinks in India taste salty to me. July 3, 2013 at 12:51pm Reply

  • Elena: I have never made lemonade including the peels before, but now they are macerating in my fridge! I’m always happy to have another way to use the orange blossom water after I bought some after reading your irresistible description of cafe blanc some months back. I can’t wait to share this lemonade, it will be a perfect and special addition to our Fourth of July celebration tomorrow. Thank you! July 3, 2013 at 2:22pm Reply

    • Victoria: Yay! I hope that you like it. The maceration part really makes all the difference for me. When you add orange blossom water and mint, it’s like blending a perfume! And it smells good enough to be worn as such. July 3, 2013 at 4:55pm Reply

      • Elena: It was delicious, I think I will always use the peels now! I did not find it bitter in the slightest. My goofy 3 year old loved it too, not only to drink but as a dip for her raw green beans. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that to your other readers, though she did make me try it and it wasn’t terrible. 🙂 We didn’t have any but my husband had the idea to put a splash of vodka in, too. It reminds me a little of elderflower drink that you get in Sweden. Happy Fourth, though you’re in Belgium. July 3, 2013 at 9:05pm Reply

        • Victoria: Thank you for letting me know! I’m even happier to know that the little one enjoyed it too. And she might be onto something, because I once tried an Armenian cucumber salad with honey and orange blossom water dressing! July 7, 2013 at 3:14pm Reply

  • Susiebelle: I also macerate my lemons in sugar with the peel. I use Marcia Adam’s recipe from her Amish cookbook. The recipe calls for squashing the lemons with a potato masher after sitting in the sugar. It brings out even more juice. Will try the mint and orange blossom water! Thanks! July 3, 2013 at 4:21pm Reply

    • Victoria: I love these kind of traditional recipes, and many of them make so much sense. Using the peel this way, you get a ton of flavor. Even if I don’t have the other ingredients, I don’t skip the maceration part. July 3, 2013 at 4:59pm Reply

  • rainboweyes: I love your recipe, it sounds so delicious! I’m not sure where I can get orange blossom water here in Germany, though. I’m pretty sure the supermarkets don’t carry it, I might try our local pharmacy (they do have rose water so chances are good).
    I’m a big fan of elderflower syrup, I think it might be nice in the lemonade too. I love a splash of it in my sparkling wine/crémant/prosecco combined with a slice of lime and some mint leaves. July 3, 2013 at 5:26pm Reply

    • Victoria: Do you have Turkish or Middle Eastern stores near you? They should have it. And pharmacies too might carry floral waters. Of course, amazon.de is another source for just about anything, if you want to go that route. They even deliver for free in some cases within Europe, so I remain a big Amazon fan. July 3, 2013 at 5:31pm Reply

  • Andrea: When I was a child, my brothers and I would use Country Time powdered lemonade, squeeze a few lemons in it and advertise it as “freshly squeezed” as we sold it. (Perhaps I should have gone into advertising!). Last week (to atone for my sins perhaps) I squeezed about 60 lemons for my son’s lemonade stand. And had a LOT left over. I added simple syrup and water; we kept the ingredients separate so we could use artificial sweetener for those on a diet/diabetics. (And my son wanted to advertise: “no nitrates”! Maybe advertising tactics run in the family!) July 4, 2013 at 12:23am Reply

    • Victoria: Andrea, your comment made me smile! It also reminded me how my brother tried selling bugs to the kids at my grandmother’s village. He caught some common bugs, but he put each in a jar and advertised it as a special specimen. Much to my grandmother’s embarrassment, he actually sold a few. Of course, she made him give the money back. 🙂 July 7, 2013 at 3:21pm Reply

  • Emma M: This sounds heavenly; a perfect summertime drink. I’ll definitely be trying both this recipe and cafe blanc.

    Lovely photos too, Victoria; you always capture such wonderful clarity and light in your images. July 4, 2013 at 10:28am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you, Emma! You couldn’t have given me a nicer compliment, since I’ve been studying photography diligently in my spare moments. I have a long way to go, so I appreciate the encouragement. July 7, 2013 at 3:53pm Reply

  • Jennifer: I’m making a batch of this right now to take to my family’s house for the 4th. The potato masher idea is great. I’ll have to try that before I put in the water. July 4, 2013 at 3:52pm Reply

    • Victoria: I hope that everyone enjoyed it! Let us know how the potato masher idea worked out. July 7, 2013 at 3:58pm Reply

  • Lisa: Lemonade? Not really a big fan. However, I have to say that your photos are truly fantastic! Thanks for posting! 🙂 ~Lisa July 5, 2013 at 10:57am Reply

    • Victoria: Lisa, thank you very much! 🙂 July 7, 2013 at 4:00pm Reply

  • Lavanya: yum! I am going to try making this tonight. I don’t have orange blossom water at hand but I do have some lovely rose water.Wonder if I shoo;d use that.. I’m also very tempted to add salt along with sugar (for more of a nimbu paani feel) July 9, 2013 at 9:19am Reply

    • Victoria: Mint, lemon and rose is another fantastic combination (for instance, Yuzu Rouge or Un Zest d’Ete by Rosine). Rose can easily overwhelm lemon, however, so I would start adding it gradually.

      On these hot days, the salty-sour nimbu paani is what I’m craving too. July 9, 2013 at 9:46am Reply

      • Lavanya: I just squeezed the juice and the lemons and sugar are macerating in the fridge as I type. I keep sneaking in and tasting the syrup..yumm. I didn’t get enough juice to cover all the lemons (but many)- is that ok, do you think? I am tempted to add a bit of blood orange essence at the end but I might just keep it simple. July 9, 2013 at 10:28pm Reply

        • Lavanya: also what do you with the lemon peels after the straining? July 9, 2013 at 11:20pm Reply

          • Victoria: Just toss them. They won’t be good for anything else. July 10, 2013 at 8:03am Reply

        • Victoria: I know that it’s tempting, but don’t add anything! The combination of lemon and orange blossom (and mint, if you’re using it) is perfect as it is. You can experiment later, of course, but I really urge you to try the simple version first.

          The juice may not cover the lemons, that’s ok! July 10, 2013 at 8:02am Reply

  • Gigi: Thank you for the inspiration, I’m having a lovely lemon and orange blossom water combo today to cool down on this muggy day as inspired by you. I love your columns, this is my new favorite site! July 10, 2013 at 8:29pm Reply

    • Victoria: My pleasure, Gigi! I’m so happy that you like it. There is nothing like this combo on a sweltering hot day. I sometimes even add a bit of orange blossom water directly into my water bottle and chill it in the fridge. It tastes so much better than plain water. July 11, 2013 at 9:15am Reply

  • Suzanne: Thanks for posting this! I just tried the recipe with some Meyer lemons I got from a friend, and it was delicious! Even the raw mixture with the lemons and sugar was delicious, it was tough to let it sit for long enough. It turned out very zingy and zesty, and super refreshing! It’s almost like grapefruit but sweeter and lighter. It also goes really nicely with a little splash of blackcurrant liqueur too. August 17, 2013 at 1:52am Reply

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