A while back we had a local food blogger potluck, and of course all the food was amazing. One of the things I really liked was a Meyer lemonade with vanilla. I have a stash of vanilla beans in my cupboard that I’m always wondering what to do with. Yes, a stash. If you’re still buying pricey one-off vanilla beans at the grocery store, get thee to eBay. I got a quarter pound of Tahitian vanilla beans for under 10 bucks. And a quarter pound is a dang good amount of vanilla.
With summer kicked off, I recreated the lemonade. This is my perfect lemonade – the stuff they sell in restaurants is usually too tart for me. Feel free to adjust the sugar levels to your liking, however.
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean, split
8 lemons (yielding 1 cup juice)
Cold water to fill pitcher
In a small saucepan, bring water, sugar, and vanilla bean to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Press vanilla bean in order to let caviar escape. Cover and let cool.
Juice lemons, and pour into 2-quart pitcher. Add sugar mixture (including vanilla bean), then fill pitcher with cold water and stir to mix. Chill until ready to serve.
If your lemonade tastes slightly bitter, add a tiny pinch of salt to bring out the other flavors.