It’s that time of year around here where the sweet pink mist of redbud flowers is visible around the edge of the woods when you look out the window, and it won’t be too much longer until they’re gone! So while they’re still here, why not use the magic of lemon juice and redbud tea to enjoy a naturally pink redbud lemonade?
You will need:
- 1/4 cup redbud flowers
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 4-5 tbsp sugar (or honey, or stevia, or whatever your sweetener of choice may be- sweetener amount may need adjusting if sugar is not used.)
- 3 lemons
- 1 1/2 cups cold water
Start by making redbud tea. Pick 1/4 cup of redbud flowers and place in a heat-safe container, making sure you’ve only got flowers in your container and no bugs are hitching a ride. Heat your 1/2 cup of water to a boil in a small pan, and pour over the flowers.
Optional step: Add in the sugar/honey/other sweetener to the hot water and stir to dissolve, if you’d like. Some people prefer making their lemonade this way if their tastes run more towards sweeter, rather than tangy, lemonades. As an experiment, I dissolved 2 tbsp of sugar at this point, and added the rest later.
Cover the top of the container, and let steep overnight in the fridge. It’s important to let it steep this long if you want pink lemonade instead of regular! Redbud flowers give up their pigment very reluctantly, and it takes 12+ hours to make them give up enough color.
Strain out and discard the plant matter. You should end up with a tea that is a very, very pale pink (or peach-ish) color. This isn’t the final color, so don’t worry about how pale and faded the color is just yet!
Set this aside, and squeeze out the juice of 3 lemons. Strain the juice to remove seeds and pulp (or just pick out the seeds/use a strainer that’s not as fine if you like the pulp), and add the juice straight to your tea.
As soon as the lemon juice touches the tea, it’ll start turning color to a brighter, more vibrant shade of pink. It’s fun to watch! Stir it to make sure it all mixes together.
To make the finished pink lemonade, combine your mixed redbud-lemon-juice/tea with 1 1/2 cups of cold water. If you didn’t add all of your sweetener earlier in the recipe, do so now! Stir to dissolve, taste what you have, and adjust ingredients to taste. This makes for a very tangy lemonade, so if you like your lemonade sweeter, you may need to add more sugar/honey/etc.
The finished lemonade is bright and tangy, and a lovely natural shade of pink!
Want to try making something else with redbud flowers? Try out my Redbud Jelly recipe!