As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, it’s the perfect time of year to drink fresh lemonade. This recipe is one I created years ago, when I was teaching ESL at the Spanish speaking seminary. I’m not sure what inspired me to add a cinnamon stick to the mixture other than the fact that I really like cinnamon—both for its taste and health benefits. That, and a friend of mine used to put a cinnamon stick in her iced tea when she brewed it, and I found the cinnamon to make her tea incredibly delicious.
Regardless of whatever the exact reason was, I’m glad I thought to do it. The tartness of the lemon juice blended together with honey, sweet cinnamon, and a splash of vanilla is the perfect blend. You’ll find yourself wanting to make this drink over and over again.
- 3 1/2 c water, divided
- 1/3 c honey (or sweetener of choice, to taste)
- 1 t vanilla
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ½ c fresh squeezed lemon juice (around 2-3 large lemons)
Heat two cups water and honey over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the honey dissolves. Add the vanilla, cinnamon stick, and fresh squeezed lemon juice and simmer on low for five minutes, stirring regularly. Remove from heat and allow to cool for ten to twenty minutes, then place in the refrigerator and chill overnight, or a minimum of six hours (this will allow the cinnamon flavor to really infuse itself into the drink). Add the additional 1 ½ cups water before serving, stir, and serve over ice. Makes 3-4 servings.
NOTE: This lemonade tastes tart before fully chilled but will become sweeter once cold.