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Sparkling Saffron-Vanilla Bean Lemonade {Eat a Rainbow}

Last year, in my Spice it Up! class, we made a Rosemary-Thyme Lemonade. I decided to make a Saffron-Vanilla Bean Lemonade for my Eat a Rainbow class. This week, we're cooking things that are yellow. Perfect.

The secret to homemade lemonade is to make a simple syrup first. That way the sugar is dissolved and not grainy in your drink. The ratio for the syrup is 1: 1. For this version I added a pinch of saffron and a whole vanilla bean to the syrup.


Ingredients

  • 1 C organic granulated sugar
  • 1 C water 
  • 1 pinch of saffron
  • 1 whole vanilla bean
  • 1 C freshly squeezed lemon juice for the base
  • 5-6 C sparkling (or still) water

Procedure
Slice the vanilla bean length-wise and scrape the caviar into a medium skillet or saucepan. Add a pinch of saffron. Add the sugar and water to a saucepan and simmer over medium heat till the sugar is completely dissolved. Let cool before pouring the syrup into a jar. Reserve the syrup till you’re ready to make the lemonade.


To make lemonade: pour the saffron and vanilla-infused syrup into a mixing pitcher. Add 1 C freshly squeezed lemon juice. Then add water to taste, usually another 5-6 C of water. If you want, you can substitute sparkling water to make this bubbly. Serve with slices of fresh lemon and if you like.

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