Edibles

Redbud Pink Lemonade

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?

Image is of a pinterest pin for how to make redbud jelly. The words are large and in white, with white floral graphics on a pink background. An image of a glass of pink redbud lemonade is underneath it, with a scattering of redbud flowers at the base of the glass. At the very bottom of the image, a pink strip sits with the Unruly Gardening logo.

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!

Image is of a jar of faintly yellow/peach-ish liquid. A hand is holding the jar near the top. Blurry green leaves can be seen in the background.
I swear this looks just slightly pinker in real life.

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.

Image is of a glass jar half-full of bright pink liquid. A hand is holding the jar near the top. In the background, blurry green leaves can be seen.
After the lemon juice is added! Nice and bright and pink!

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!

Image of a glass of faintly pink lemonade with ice floating near the top. Inside the glass, a few pink flowers can be seen. At the base of the glass, there are some scattered redbud flowers.

Want to try making something else with redbud flowers? Try out my Redbud Jelly recipe!

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