Rosemary lemonade made with a rosemary simple syrup is a refreshing Mediterranean twist on our favorite summer thirst quencher.
Rosemary lemonade isn’t your classic lemonade stand drink to be sure, but herbal twists on lemonade aren’t new. Thirsty folks have been enjoying fresh lemonade infused with rosemary, thyme, mint, and lavender all over the Mediterranean and Middle East for centuries. In Greece and Italy herbal lemon-based drinks can be traced back to ancient Greeks and Romans. And mint lemonade has been a favorite drink in the Middle East for generations. I like it because it gives a little bit of an adult edge to a delicious but predictable summer drink. And if you’re looking to cut down on alcohol this makes a wonderful mocktail.
rosemary lemonade ingredients
- fresh lemons
- fresh rosemary
- lots of you are lucky enough to have rosemary growing in your yard. Otherwise it’s always available in your supermarket.
how to make rosemary lemonade
It’s so easy!
- I make a rosemary simple syrup (see directions below.)
- I make my classic lemonade, which is made with a 4:1 ratio of water to fresh squeezed lemon juice. Feel free to adjust this ratio to suit yourself.
- I add the rosemary syrup to taste (the rosemary syrup will sweeten as well as flavor the lemonade.)
- Serve over ice garnished with a sprig of fresh rosemary.
making rosemary simple syrup
The key to infusing piney rosemary into lemonade is to make a simple syrup. This fragrant golden syrup is so easy to make. Just remember the simple ratio of 1:1 sugar to water. You can adapt the recipe for just about any herb. This technique makes a drink that’s got the right balance of flavor: interesting but not overpowering.
Stir together water and sugar in a saucepan. Add a handful of fresh rosemary sprigs to the pan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
Let the mixture cool completely before straining and refrigerating. It will keep, refrigerated, for about 2 weeks.
rosemary lemonade FAQS and TIPS
- Can I use dried rosemary instead of fresh rosemary?
- No, you really do need the fresh herb for this ~ the essential oils in fresh rosemary are what give this lemonade its flavor.
- Can I skip the simple syrup and just muddle the rosemary?
- Yes, that will work. Muddle the rosemary and then add lemonade. Strain before serving over ice. Since you won’t get the sweetening from the simple syrup, you’ll need to sweeten your lemonade with sugar or honey.
- Can I use rosemary essential oil in rosemary lemonade?
- I don’t recommend using essential oil as it’s highly concentrated and potent. It’s better to stick with rosemary sprigs for a more balanced fresh flavor.
- Can I make rosemary lemonade in advance?
- Yes, it will keep several days in the fridge, but don’t add the ice until ready to serve.
- I don’t love rosemary, what else can I use?
- Try mint, thyme or cooking grade lavender buds. You can try basil, or even tarragon, but go easy on that, it’s strong. You can make the simple syrup the same way, with these different ingredients.
- Can I make a keto simple syrup?
- Yes, you can use Splenda, for instance.
- How would I use honey to make the simple syrup?
- Just sub it for the sugar, in the same amount.
- Can I use bottled lemon juice?
- Yes. I prefer fresh, but bottled will work. Use it in the same amount.
- Can I make this into a sparkling rosemary lemonade?
- Yes! Just use sparkling water instead of regular water to mix with the lemon juice. Don’t mix it until just before serving.
- How would I make a frozen rosemary lemonade?
- Freeze the lemonade in ice cube trays, then blend in a blender until slushy.
- Can I make this into a cocktail?
- You bet, just add vodka (or gin!) Use 1 part alcohol to 2 parts rosemary lemonade and serve over ice.
I poured my leftover rosemary lemonade into my popsicle mold; then froze until solid ~ they were absolutely fabulous! (Incredible after a Mediterranean themed dinner.) Just about any beverage can be frozen into popsicles, so keep it in mind when the temperature soars.
shop my props!
- medium saucepan
- fine mesh strainer
rosemary simple syrup
- 2 cups filtered water
- 2 cups sugar
- 6 rosemary sprigs
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 qt filtered water
- Stir the sugar and water together in a medium saucepan. Add the rosemary sprigs. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and let the pan cool completely.
- Strain and transfer to an airtight container or jar. Chill.
- Combine the lemon juice and water. Add the rosemary simple syrup, to taste. You will not use all of it, start with 1/2 -3/4 cup and go up from there.
- Chill the lemonade thoroughly before serving. Do not add ice at this point.
- Serve the lemonade over ice with a slice of lemon and a sprig of rosemary.