Red Clover Lemonade
Clover flowers are abundant from late spring until the first freeze of winter, and they’re not just a rich food source for honeybees! The whole plant has culinary and medicinal value, being chock-full of nutrients and healing properties. Here’s one way to take advantage of those pretty petals, and a great way to cool down on a warm late-spring or summer day.
You’ll need to prepare red clover tea the day before you plan to make this lemonade, because the concoction needs time to properly steep and chill.
To clean clover, simply pinch off the flowering tops and submerge them in cold water, and then spread them out on a cloth to drain.
It’s best to prepare beverages using glass or stainless steel, as plastic and aluminum containers can leach chemicals into your favorite drinks.
6 cups filtered water
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon fresh red clover blossoms, rinsed
3 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 24 lemons)
2 to 2-1⁄2 cups sugar
6 cups filtered water, cold
To make tea:
1. In a large stockpot, bring water just to boiling. Place clover blossoms in another stockpot, and pour hot water over them.
2. Cover and steep until liquid is room temperature. Strain into a glass pitcher or bowl, and chill for several hours or overnight.
To make lemonade:
3. In a large pitcher or punch bowl, whisk together lemon juice and 2 cups sugar. Add cold water, and stir until sugar is dissolved.
4. Add the tea, and mix well. Taste for sweetness, and add up to an additional 1⁄2 cup sugar, as needed. Chill thoroughly before serving.
NOTE: Alternatively, to make the tea, you can place the clover blossoms and water in a large glass jar with a tight-fitting lid, and place the jar in direct sunlight for 4 to 6 hours. Strain and chill. Also, if preferred, you can use all or part raw honey in place of the sugar.
Interested in more ways to cook with nature? Check out The Value of Edible Plants to find more editor-recommended recipes for this spring.