If life hands you lemons then make really good lemonade. It means squeezing the juice from the fresh citrus fruit and sweetening it with a simple syrup. Don’t stop there. We are infusing the simple syrup with saffron. This rich spice transforms everyday lemonade into a fragrant, golden drink that can be served for summer celebrations.
Saffron, which is from the dried stamen of the crocus flower, is the world’s most expensive spice, prized more that gold. Luckily you need just a few saffron threads for the infusion. Since saffron needs heat to release its flavour, the floral essence develops in the warm syrup.
We’ve marveled how spices commonly used in savoury foods – peppercorn and basil – can enhance a conventional drink or cocktail. The simple syrup infused with saffron brightens the colour of the lemonade and adds a deep floral aroma.
Normally we strain our infusions. Not this time, as we enjoy the gold saffron threads floating and decorating our lemonade.
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
Pinch of saffron (about 1/8 to 1/4 tsp)
1 cup fresh lemon juice (4 to 5 lemons)
3 cups cold water
Add sugar and the water to a pot
Crumble saffron and add to the water
Simmer for five minutes, making sure sugar has dissolved
Let the saffron infused syrup sit for at least 15 minutes
Add the cool syrup to the fresh lemon juice
Add the cold water and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving
Less is more with saffron. Too much spice results in a pungent flavour.
Store saffron in a cool, dark cupboard.
Make Room For Spices