When the warm weather hits, we all want to reach for a glass of something refreshing, like this sugar-free lemon mint lemonade. This sparkling lemon mint lemonade is an excellent spring or summer drink to sip on in the afternoon on a hot day. It's refreshing, sweet, and tart, with the delicious flavor of mint. I serve it over ice for that classic feel and garnish it with lemon slices and fresh mint.
I don't like gardening. I don't hate it. I just don't enjoy it. My first attempt at gardening ended up in me jumping nearly 2 meters high after finding a gigantic spider in the patch of earth I was digging up. How on earth did the spider survive buried there, I haven't got a clue.
Anyway, my husband, on the other hand, is a keen gardener. He loves to grow vegetables, water the plants, dig here and there, weed the garden ... I like to walk barefoot on the grass and look at all the colorful vegetables (and then prepare delicious meals out of them). Just don't ask me to kneel down and weed. It has nothing to do with laziness. I just don't like getting my hands dirty, I don't like bugs or worms, and I am terrified of spiders.
What I do enjoy, however, is growing herbs. Not only because I can grow them in small pots on my deck, but because I LOVE adding them into my dishes and drinks! Being able to pick a fresh bunch whenever I need it? Well, it just makes me happy. I am currently growing some basil, cilantro, mint, rosemary, and thyme. While I use mint the least (at least for savory dishes), it's by far my favorite herb for drinks. This lemon mint lemonade is one of them.
Tips for Making Lemon Mint Lemonade
Lemonade can be made several different ways, and with several different added ingredients for varied flavors. However, one of the ingredients that pretty much every lemonade recipe calls for are lemons. Lemons are highly acidic and have a sour taste. If you're not a fan of lemons, you could use limes, which are also acidic, but have more of a bitter taste. The subtly different flavors of lemons and limes means that pairing them in different quantities can create different drinks. Personally, I am not a fan of bitter flavor. So, I usually just stick with lemons.
As I have already mentioned, mint is perfect for drinks. Although commonly referred to as simply Mint, there are two distinct common varieties that differ dramatically in flavor: Spearmint and Peppermint. Frankly most mint lemonade (or cocktail) recipes don’t distinguish between the two, so it’s up to you to choose. Typically I use Spearmint because it has a crisp, clean, refreshing flavor and it's sweeter than Peppermint.
I decided to go with stevia to sweeten this lemon mint lemonade. I love stevia because it's naturally occurring, doesn't cause blood sugar spikes, and sweetens just perfectly. If you go with stevia, make sure to read the ingredients on the packaging. You want 100% pure stevia. If you have never tasted stevia, I have to warn you that many people find it has a bitter after taste. I don't, honestly. The only issue I have with stevia is that there’s not enough long term data on stevia to discern its true impact on health of frequent users.
The only kitchen tool you need for this recipe is a high-speed blender. If your blender is weaker, you will want to cut the lemons into smaller pieces, and also finely chop the mint leaves before blending. Blend all the ingredients on high and voila - you've got a lemon mint lemonade base. If your blender isn't powerful enough to liquefy all the ingredients, strain the lemonade base over a fine mesh strainer or a nut milk bag.
Since I am using sparkling water, I usually don't mix the "lemon-mint-stevia" concentrate with the water in a big pitcher. Rather, I serve the lemon mint lemonade in individual glasses as needed (so the sparkling water stays fizzy). I keep both the concentrate and the sparkling water in the fridge until ready to serve.
Tools You'll Need
1. Blender (Vitamix 5200) | 2. Knife Set (Set of 5, Utility, Stainless Steel) | 3. Cutting Board (24”x 18”, Michigan Maple Block, Maple) | 4. Mixing Bowls (Set of 3, Pyrex, Glass) | 5. Nut Milk Bag (12”x 12”, Ellie’s Best, Nylon)
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Lemon Mint Lemonade
- 2 lemons, rind removed
- 5-10 mint leaves*
- ⅓-1/2 tsp. liquid stevia
- ½ cup water
- 4-6 cups sparkling water
- 10-15 ice cubes
- Add lemons, mint leaves, stevia, and water (not the sparkling water) into a high-speed blender and blend on high. If you don't have a high-speed blender, you might want to pour the lemon-mint concentrate over a strainer or a nut milk bag.
- At this point, you can either add the sparkling water to the concentrate right away and adjust the taste or put the concentrate in the fridge and add the sparkling water right before serving (so the water stays fizzy).
- Serve chilled over ice with a few mint leaves and slices of lemon.
**Start with 4 cups of sparkling water and add more to taste.