Mint Infused Simple Syrup and Fresh Lemonade
© By Ann M. Evans
I grow mint and lemons in my garden, and in the early summer, I have a profusion of both. Simple syrup is generally one part sugar to water, or brewed mint tea in this case. You can infuse hot water with any flavor of spice or herb you like, such as ginger, cinnamon, lavender or sage, and make simple syrup. Here, I’ve reduced the sugar because I like mint syrup in fresh lemonade, and the mint syrup with more water than sugar dilutes the tartness of the lemon juice while imparting more mint flavor. You can make it one to one or as it is here.

Mint Infused Simple Syrup
1 large bunch of fresh mint, about 15-20 long stems, washed
1 quart boiling water
2 cups sugar

Place the mint in a large teapot with a lid. Add the boiling water and let it steep for at least one hour.

Decant the mint tea into a 2-quart sauce pan over high heat, add the sugar, stir and bring liquid to a boil. Let the liquid boil until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat and let liquid simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool.

When cooled, place in bottles or jars, label with name and date, and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

Makes one quart.

Fresh Lemonade with Mint Simple Syrup
This is inspired by “Citron Pressé”, French lemonade, as served in Provence in the summertime using only fresh lemon juice, water, and sugar, or in this case, mint infused simple syrup.

4 large lemons, squeezed
2 cups water
1 cup mint infused simple syrup
Several leaves or sprigs of fresh mint

Bring to the table a small pitcher with lemon juice, another one with water, and four glasses with ice, and a bottle of the syrup. Have each guest pour their own fresh lemon juice, followed by some water and syrup to their taste. Mix with a spoon and garnish with a leaf or sprig of fresh mint.

Serves 4