A few months ago, completely sick of buying fresh herbs at the grocery store, I decided to take matters into my own hands and grow my own herbs. Now, that may sound like something relatively easy for the average person, as dirt, sun, and plants are all you need. Easier said than done when you live in an apartment with very little natural light and no outside space (besides a small front stoop).
After evaluating my options I decided to go with a pot hanging from the railing in front of my apartment entrance. So I headed to the nearest hardware store to get myself a planter, dirt, and herbs. I had a list of about 20 herbs I might want, but the selection was a bit lacking so I ended up settling on mint, basil, rosemary, sage, chives, thyme, and oregano.
Sadly the size of the planter isn’t very conducive to growing huge plants. I won’t be plucking cup after cup of basil to make copious amounts of pesto but for the most part it has been fulfilling my needs. I ended up being rather impressed by the fact that I was able to harvest almost a cup of mint.
While lemonade is the quintessential summer beverage, every now and then I think it needs a bit more flavor. The addition of any kind of berry is highly recommended and while I’ve enjoyed both rosemary as well as basil lemonade, the addition of mint is incredibly refreshing and most certainly my favorite. Swapping still water for sparkling also makes this a bit more festive and if you feel compelled to add a bit of vodka, I most certainly wouldn’t judge (and would most likely encourage it).
Sparkling Mint Lemonade
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup fresh mint, ripped into small pieces
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 6 cups plain, unflavored sparkling water
- Vodka (optional)
- Fresh mint leaves for garnish
Add 1 cup water, and torn mint leaves into a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil, add sugar, and cook for a few seconds until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and leave at room temperature until cooled and basil has infused the simple syrup.
Strain mint syrup through a fine mesh sieve into a large pitcher. Add fresh lemon juice and sparkling water. Pour in as much vodka as desired. Enjoy!