Pimp my lemonade
April 16, 2012 8:38 PM   Subscribe

Best non-alcoholic ingredients to add to lemonade to make it extra-delicious?

So I've decided to have a special lemonade stand at my summer wedding, specifically for before the ceremony when guests are arriving but before the bar area opens (no alcohol can be served prior to ceremony according to my venue's rules.) The lemonade will be provided by the caterer in a glass dispenser, but it's up to me to provide add-ins that people can muddle into their glass as they desire. Here's what I've brainstormed so far:
--Berries (Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, etc)
--Lavender syrup
--Ginger syrup

Any other interesting ideas?

Bonus points if you can come up with a name for the lemonade stand that basically equates to "Pimp your lemonade."

posted by np312 to Food & Drink (55 answers total) 88 users marked this as a favorite
Basil syrup!
posted by makonan at 8:40 PM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

It sounds weird but my friend puts fresh basil in hers and it is yummy.
posted by dawkins_7 at 8:41 PM on April 16, 2012 [6 favorites]

posted by The World Famous at 8:42 PM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

Make a simple syrup with lemon zest in it. Use this as your sugar.
posted by notsnot at 8:44 PM on April 16, 2012

Fresh basil and fresh tarragon are great in lemonade. A splash of pomegranate juice can be fun.

"Lemonade Laboratory"?
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:46 PM on April 16, 2012

Tarragon. Rosemary. And maybe "Designer Lemonade," where the guest is the designer?
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:46 PM on April 16, 2012

You could garnish with pomegranate seeds or crystallized ginger.
posted by smirkette at 8:46 PM on April 16, 2012

Seconding rosemary. You could make a simple syrup infused with it if you don't want spiky bits.
posted by lollusc at 8:48 PM on April 16, 2012

Hibiscus syrup (buy dried hibiscus/flor de jamaica, cook in simple syrup for awhile, strain).
posted by cabingirl at 8:50 PM on April 16, 2012

Cinnamon syrup, it's simple syrup, except you steep pounded cinnamon sticks in the syrup for two hours.
posted by deinemutti at 8:55 PM on April 16, 2012

Matcha powder (green tea) is the only one I can come up with that has yet to be mentioned. Basil is awesome, be sure to have that.

If it were my wedding I'd have an extremely official looking sign (letterpress? calligraphy?) done up that reads "Honored Guests, Please Shmancify Your Lemonade".
posted by Mizu at 8:55 PM on April 16, 2012

I like adding a dash of apple cider vinegar for added acidity. But then I get through about 1/4 pint of ACV every day, which I'm told is freakish and wrong.
posted by Kandarp Von Bontee at 9:01 PM on April 16, 2012 [2 favorites]

Fresh herbs are a fantastic addition to anything, in my opinion. Especially lemonade. Infused syrup is good. So is using white tea in place of the water.

Fancy ice cubes are good. Decorative ice cube trays are all over the internets. You can make your ice cubes out of pomegranate juice, or stud regular ice cubes with berries, mint sprigs, and whatnot.
posted by S'Tella Fabula at 9:03 PM on April 16, 2012

Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries don't actually add any flavor to the lemonade, though they look pretty.
Another idea would be to freeze them in ice cubes to add a bit of functionality. It's a summer wedding after all.
Also watermelon, peach and cut up strawberries would go well with lemonade.

Basil, rosemary, mint and lavender sound great.
posted by travelwithcats at 9:05 PM on April 16, 2012

Basil and STRAWBERRIES. They go together so amazingly.
posted by padraigin at 9:07 PM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

I like to add Grenadine to my lemonade. Also, travelwithcats' blueberries in ice cubes is a cool idea.
posted by SquidLips at 9:19 PM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

notsnot: "Make a simple syrup with lemon zest in it. Use this as your sugar"

posted by hydrophonic at 9:33 PM on April 16, 2012

Indians do a lemonade as well that you'll find people serving at lots of types of events. You could have a small dish with a mixture of chaat masala, cumin, salt and pepper that people can stir into their drink. Add some mint for garnish. It's definitely not hot spicy, but rather salty with a kick and a change from various fruits. Amchur (mango) powder can also work in place of the chaat masala to give it a slightly fruitier taste.
posted by sub-culture at 9:38 PM on April 16, 2012 [4 favorites]

Blueberries may not add much flavor, but blueberry puree is fantastic. Strawberry puree is also recommended.

To do something really fun, make ice cubes out of different fruit purees. They make the lemonade look fun and add flavor as they melt.
posted by erstwhile at 9:41 PM on April 16, 2012

cucumber and mint!
posted by vespabelle at 9:49 PM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

Is this "fizzy clear" lemonade or "non-fizzy lemonish opaque" lemonade?

Either way, elderflower cordial.
posted by holgate at 9:50 PM on April 16, 2012 [2 favorites]

The other night I drank lemonade with muddled strawberries and a spoonful of rhubarb jam. It was delicious :-)
posted by Susan PG at 9:53 PM on April 16, 2012

Holgate: It's non-fizzy lemonish opaque

Great suggestions everyone!! Keep them coming!
posted by np312 at 10:05 PM on April 16, 2012

Try the bumpy Asian lemons or Meyer lemons as well. Lavender is my favorite addition.
posted by effluvia at 10:07 PM on April 16, 2012

Also I won't be able to make special ice cubes as that is the caterer's territory and they're not the most accommodating folks, sadly. But great concept next time I'm entertaining from home!
posted by np312 at 10:08 PM on April 16, 2012

I think pink peppercorns would be good.
posted by Hither at 10:12 PM on April 16, 2012

A cafe I visit often sells basil cucumber lemonade, although they don't make it sweet enough for my tastes. I've never tried to make it, but I can imagine it's tricky to balance the flavors correctly.
posted by germdisco at 10:13 PM on April 16, 2012

nthing ginger, but with a dash of cayenne.
posted by vitabellosi at 10:34 PM on April 16, 2012

Agree with the cayenne suggestion.
posted by ch3ch2oh at 10:46 PM on April 16, 2012

The best lemonade I have ever had was cut with peach juice.
posted by Foam Pants at 11:25 PM on April 16, 2012

Add iced tea to make an Arnold Palmer. It's simply iced tea + lemonade.
posted by XhaustedProphet at 11:44 PM on April 16, 2012 [3 favorites]

I'll vote for basil or ginger, and caution you on the lavender: for some (like me), it's far too perfumey. Fancy ice cubes would be nice, too--you can freeze whole (round) slices of lemon or lime in muffin tins, or maybe some (edible) flowers. They're really pretty floating around in the punchbowl.

Mango lemonade is amazing, too, but I'm not sure how to do that best, and blending wedding-sized batches might be a bit awkward.
posted by 0127661 at 11:50 PM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

Whoops, just read about the ice cubes. Oh well!
posted by 0127661 at 11:51 PM on April 16, 2012

Salt. Might sound strange, but fantastically refreshing.
posted by badgerbadgerbadger at 11:57 PM on April 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

Add a dash of vanilla.

Really good. You'l never go back.
posted by vacapinta at 12:36 AM on April 17, 2012 [3 favorites]

2 parts ice cold, freshly squeezed orange juice with 1 part lemonade - simple but delicioius.
posted by humph at 3:29 AM on April 17, 2012

Orange blossom water. (Bonus point - according to wikipedia orange flowers are a traditional 'bridal' flower.)
posted by Trivia Newton John at 3:33 AM on April 17, 2012

Rosewater lemonaid is a traditional additive in Middle Eastern countries. A little bit goes a long way. Might make an interesting compliment to some of the other options here.
posted by j03 at 5:53 AM on April 17, 2012 [3 favorites]

So I came in here, dreaming of a lemonade that I made last summer and ready to tell you all about it. It had two added ingredients, and it was delicious.

The first ingredient was basil syrup. Which is the very first comment in here.

Oho, I thought! But no one will have suggested using basil with my second ingredient!

But then I saw that padraigin had already, in fact, said basil and strawberries.

So yeah, basil and strawberry lemonade. I am not as original as I thought. But really, seriously, you should try it. (Make basil syrup, make strawberry syrup, add either or both!)
posted by pemberkins at 5:54 AM on April 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

you can get elderflower syrup these days, and I think that might add a light floral overtone to lemonade that would be pretty different from the more pungent herbs being suggested here. great idea! I'd want to try small cups of all the variants! :)
posted by acm at 6:21 AM on April 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

The name could be simple (maybe a chalkboard sign): When life gives you lemons. (...make lemonade).
posted by anya32 at 6:49 AM on April 17, 2012

Alternatively you could have it set up like a cute little kid lemonade stand.
posted by anya32 at 6:49 AM on April 17, 2012

cardamom lemonade!
posted by dizziest at 7:02 AM on April 17, 2012

Definitely rosewater. That's a tasty combination.
posted by Ted Maul at 7:24 AM on April 17, 2012

The comment above about lemonade that's too tart reminds me: have just plain simple syrup, too. I like my lemonade fairly sweet and if I didn't want to add flavor I would like to potentially sweeten it in another way.
posted by cabingirl at 7:24 AM on April 17, 2012

Mango lemonade is fantastic and to do you it you only need to puree up a schwack of mangoes. I do a bunch of mangoes, a bunch of fresh lemon juice and some simple syrup or fine berry sugar, whirrrrrrr in the blender, then keep in the fridge. Mix with fizzy water. Yum.
posted by looli at 7:39 AM on April 17, 2012

Thyme is on your side.

Yes it is.
posted by BrashTech at 8:14 AM on April 17, 2012

Lime wedges. I love lime in a glass of lemonade. Of course, I also mix it with cranberry juice at times, as well.
posted by SuzySmith at 8:38 AM on April 17, 2012 [2 favorites]

Also the juice from one orange makes a pitcher of lemonade delicious.
posted by snowjoe at 8:45 AM on April 17, 2012

"Upgrade My Lemonade"?
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:54 AM on April 17, 2012

"Lemon Party."

posted by roger ackroyd at 1:07 PM on April 17, 2012

There's a coffee shop near me that does herbes de Provence lemonade. I would never have guessed, but it is the tastiest thing.
posted by duien at 2:29 PM on April 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

I love putting frozen cherries in my lemonade at home, but they get soggy and unsightly pretty quickly. Cherry puree or cherry syrup also works well, adds more flavor, and make a pretty tequila sunrise-type effect when it's added.

I discovered the use of maple syrup as a lemonade sweetener in an old church cookbook awhile back, and it's pretty amazing.
posted by rhiannonstone at 7:01 PM on April 17, 2012

(Oh, and I would totally call it the Lemonade Lab.)
posted by rhiannonstone at 7:02 PM on April 17, 2012

Passionfruit pulp could be good. Might be a little bit messy though..
posted by procrastinator_general at 7:25 PM on April 17, 2012

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