Lemon Balm-Infused Lemonade for a Virtual Baby Shower

We’re still grasping at summer even though there is a decided ‘nip’ in the air. I found myself day dreaming about turkey dinner recently and had to shake myself out of the reverie by reminding myself that, hey! it’s still August. At least it won’t be a shock when the leaves start turning color, as I think I’m already in fall mode.

Still, I haven’t pulled out the crock-pot yet. We continue to enjoy chilled soups for lunch and dinners that feature or favorite seasonal vegetable, corn.

We got a late start on gardening this summer, but my herbs still pulled through and are thriving. Lemon Balm, a fast-growing herb from the mint family that has a lovely lemon scent, has wasted no time pushing the boundaries of the raised bed.

I adore lemon balm, and make a point to pick a few leaves and roll them between my palms every time I pass the garden beds, but this bushy herb was in need of some serious pruning. What to make?

With twenty-or-so guests on their way over for my birthday celebration, I knew a jug of fresh-squeezed lemonade would be perfect. And infused with lemon balm? Even better.

(You have to remember, I’m a strict teetotaler during pregnancy (obvi!) so I have to get creative with my caffeine-free, alcohol-free summer drinks.)

This lemon balm-infused lemonade did not disappoint. Perfumed lightly with the herb, it offered a mildly minty taste that, naturally, paired perfectly with the lemonade. Refreshing and tart, it was a lovely start to our evening – for young and old alike.

This tray of lemonade is my contribution to a virtual baby shower for the soon-to-be mama Maria of Two Peas and Their Pod! Maria and Josh, I toast the two of you with this non-alcoholic summer drink and wish you the very best in this new crazy adventure called Parenthood. Believe me when I say it is the best journey you will ever take.

A warm thank you to Marla and Lisa for organizing this virtual shower. You ladies are super sweet! See bottom of post for the full menu.

Lemon Balm-Infused Lemonade
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Author:
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves/Yield: 3 1/2 quarts
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Demerera sugar
  • 1 cup agave syrup
  • 3 cups fresh lemon balm leaves, slightly compacted in the measuring cup
  • 3 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained
For Garnish
  • Thinly sliced lemons
  • Fresh lemon balm leaves
  • Plenty of ice
Instructions
  1. Combine four cups of water, the sugar and agave together in a 2-quart pot. Bring to a boil. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved, then remove from heat.
  2. Add lemon balm leaves to the simple syrup, stir, and cover with a lid. Allow to infuse for about two hours or until the mixture is completely cool.
  3. Strain the syrup through a fine sieve into a gallon glass jar or large pitcher. Discard wilted lemon balm.
  4. Add lemon juice to the lemon balm-infused simple syrup and stir. Add 12 cups cold water. Taste and adjust as required. Add more agave if you find the lemonade too tart. Alternately, add more lemon juice if you prefer your lemonade on the puckery side.
  5. Chill until ready to serve.
  6. Serve over ice with a garnish of fresh lemon slices and fresh lemon balm. Enjoy!

 

Virtual Baby Shower for Two Peas & Their Pod

Drinks

Simple Bites – Lemon Balm infused Lemonade
Ingredients, Inc. – Healthy Fruit Punch
Food for My Family – Lemongrass Soda
She Wears Many Hats – Mini Pistachio Smoothies
Georgia Pellegrini – Watermelon Agua Fresca & a New Pea

Appetizers/Savory Bites

With Style and Grace – Truffle Popcorn
Family Fresh Cooking – Baby Peas & Cheese Frittata
Barbara Bakes – Creamy Orange Fruit Dip and Fruit
Aggie’s Kitchen – Pasta Salad with Balsamic Basil Vinaigrette
Reluctant Entertainer – Nutella Berry Bruschetta

Dessert

Dorie Greenspan – French Lemon Cream Tart
TidyMom – Blue and Chocolate Cake Balls
i am baker – Baby Pea Baby Shower Cake
Brown Eyed Baker – Pavlova
Picky Palate – Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Sandwich
What’s Gaby Cooking – Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing
Cookin’ Canuck – Nutella & Cream Cheese Swirled Blondies
Kevin and Amanda – Baby Blue Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Cups
Sweetopia – Decorated Sugar Cookies
Mountain Mama Cooks – Lavender Shortbread Cookies
Sweetapolita – Little Pea Sugar Cookie Pops
Bake at 350 – Petit Fours with fondant pea pods
Recipe Girl – Baby Button Cookies
Recipe Boy – Mud Cups with Gummy Worms
Add a Pinch – Blackberry Tartlets
Dine and Dish – Oven Baked Cinnamon Apples
Vintage Mixer – Mint Chocolate Pudding Shots

Crafts

Wenderly – Handmade Sweet Pea Cards
Our Best Bites – How To: Make a Diaper Cake Centerpiece

How are you hanging onto summer?

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites.

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Comments

  1. This sounds delicious! I have never tried lemon balm. Actually, I am trying to branch out with my herb usage, since I typically eat just the *normal* ones – basil, oregano, parsley, sage :-)
    Heather’s last post: Composting…

  2. This sounds amazing, Aimee. So beautiful!
    Robyn | Add a Pinch’s last post: Blackberry Tartlets {a shower for baby pea}

  3. Yummy! Looks scrumptious!
    Wenderly’s last post: Prince Sweet Pea

  4. I love lemon balm. We’ve been enjoying cold lemon balm tea all summer. I even made up a bunch of concentrate and put in the freezer to get me through the winter months. Love the idea of adding it to lemonade. :0)
    Pam M’s last post: A Tribute to an Indiana Summer

  5. This is really lovely, Aimee! I’m not sure if I’ve ever tried lemon balm, but no doubt it’s divine, particularly in your gorgeous lemonade!
    Rosie @ Sweetapolita’s last post: Little Pea Sugar Cookie Pops and a Virtual Baby Shower

  6. Oh Aimee, this looks so lovely and refreshing! I love sweet and tart combinations too, and although I don’t have lemon balm, Mom does… I think I’ll be asking her for some. =)
    Marian (Sweetopia)’s last post: Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcake Recipe and Hedgehog Toppers

  7. Sounds absolutely refreshing and delicious!

  8. This sounds so refreshing!! Love the jar glasses :)

    Congrats Maria & Josh!

  9. A perfect end of summer drink. Your herbs look fabulous. I’ll have to try growing lemon balm next summer.
    Barbara @ Barbara Bakes’s last post: Creamy Orange Fruit Dip and a Virtual Baby Shower

  10. Heather (Heather's Dish) says:

    how is it that i’ve never heard of lemon balm? it sounds so refreshing!

  11. Looks and sounds amazing!!
    TidyMom’s last post: Baby Blue Velvet Cake Truffles {Virtual Baby Shower}

  12. How am I holding onto summer? I’m not. I’m ready for fall. Let it come! Of course, our days are still warm, so I can’t completely escape summer. :)

  13. This drink looks amazing! So creative and fresh
    alison @ Ingredients, Inc.’s last post: Healthy Fruit Punch Recipe for Surprise Baby Shower

  14. This is the perfect drink for my shower. Thank you SO much! We can’t wait for our little guy to get here!

  15. I don’t know why I’ve never planted lemon balm in my garden before- I need to! The drink looks fab (and I think *everything* tastes better in a mason jar!) so cute!
    Sara @ Our Best Bites’s last post: How To: Make a Diaper Cake Centerpiece

  16. Rachel (De Ma Cuisine) says:

    My husband and I were introduced to Lemon Balm this summer. But, we got some in a box of produce that we get every few weeks, and I haven’t seen it since (in stores, or in our produce box). We LOVE it! I will have to plant it in my apartment garden next summer!

  17. What a wonderful for refreshment for a baby shower or any occasion (sitting on the back patio seems like as good a reason as any for me to try this). I am definitely bookmarking this to try.
    Cookin’ Canuck’s last post: Nutella & Cream Cheese Swirled Blondie Recipe For A Surprise Baby Shower

  18. This looks so refreshing :)

  19. So refreshing. Love the presentation too. Thanks for sharing, Aimee’!
    Sandy @ RE’s last post: Nutella Berry Bruschetta for Two Peas & Their Pod

  20. Oh wow, look at those garden bed! I only wish I had a backyard big enough for that. Lovely drink, sounds really refreshing on a hot day like the ones we’ve been having lately.
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen’s last post: the language of food photography part 6 | finding your style with Meeta K. Wolff

  21. Rebecca ~ Sweet Baby Yams says:

    Looks fantastic! Can’t wait to try it.
    Rebecca ~ Sweet Baby Yams’s last post: O Cucumber Where Art Thou?

  22. Aimee, this lemon balm infused lemonade sounds wonderful! Wish I had some of that growing in my garden. Waaayy better than simple squeezing a lemon in water. Thanks for joining in on the fun today :)

  23. What a delicious sounding beverage, Aimee!
    Kristen’s last post: Baby Boy Joy {Recipe: Oven Baked Cinnamon Apples}

  24. How lovely, Amy! And I’m so jealous that there is a little “nip” in the air there!!!
    bridget {bake at 350}’s last post: Pea Pod Petits Fours

  25. Aimee, this sounds absolutely delicious!! I have to admit, I had never heard of lemon balm before this or even knew you could grow it… so thank you for introducing this to me and a big thank you for helping to make this so special for Maria! ~ Cheers
    Lisa {With Style and Grace}’s last post: Truffled Popcorn & a Baby Shower!

  26. What a wonderful idea to use lemon balm in lemonade! Looks delicious!
    Lori @ RecipeGirl’s last post: Labor Day Barbecue Recipes

  27. I thought I was finally ready to release Summer, but this lemonade has me begging for another month of sticky hot days; this would be the perfect drink to refresh after a day in the sun.
    Ashley@BakerbyNature’s last post: Grilled Cheese and Fried Egg Sandwiches

  28. What a lovely lemonade – I don’t think I have ever experienced lemon balm, but this sounds fantastic.
    Jamie | My Baking Addiction’s last post: Marinated Grilled Shrimp

  29. Sally Thompson says:

    This really a great refreshment for the children.. I will definitely try this later! Thanks for the share!
    Sally Thompson’s last post: walmart oil change

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