As the weather starts to heat up, you may be looking for a refreshing and tasty new way to hydrate. April is recognized as Stress Awareness Month, which means it's a time to seek out tips, tricks and even flavors that can relieve stress and help us manage the difficult moments in life. Lavender Lemonade is a drink that is both hydrating and relaxing: the perfect combination for this month.
Lavender, which has long been used to treat restlessness, insomnia, nervousness and depression, gives a floral kick to this tangy drink. According to the National Institutes of Health, the purple flower contains an oil that appears to have a calming effect, making it a good choice to ease upset in the body or mind. Mix up this recipe, adapted from Cooking Light magazine, and sip it slowly on the porch or patio.
4 cups water, divided
1/4 cup chopped fresh lavender leaves
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 6 lemons)
In a medium saucepan, bring one cup of water to boil, and then pour into a bowl with the lavender leaves. Let this mixture steep for 30 minutes, and then strain through a fine sieve and discard the leaves.
Combine the remaining three cups of water and the sugar in the saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until the sugar is dissolved, about one minute. In a pitcher, combine the lavender water, sugar water and lemon juice. Stir, cover and chill. Serve with ice and lavender stems.