When I saw this recipe on page 29, I felt absolutely compelled to get out of my house and go find the ingredients. Something about combining aromatic, culinary lavender with lemons and a simple syrup was just speaking to my soul, and I did not. know.why. Now that I’ve had my Lavender Lemonade, and it’s the morning after, I think I’ve figured it out: The real impetus for this VSK journey comes from the anxiety I feels whenever I’ve chosen to move forward in life, (veganism,) but I still long for, or am afraid of losing the connections to my past (soul food and southern traditions.) Putting herbs in lemonade was a concept that was at once new to me, yet somehow deeply and strangely familiar. I was having a strange, emotional forwards/backwards, deja vu sensation, and now I know why: Don’t laugh…but do you remember a candy called C. Howards “Violets“? It was an aromatic, chalky, purple-wrapped, hard candy your grandmother might have kept in her purse. That was the memory this combo was evoking.
“Violets” has a strong aroma and it can be described as tasting “floral.” If a “lady” has this candy in her purse, (and “Violet’s is very much a “ladies” candy,) every time the purse is opened, you will immediately be enveloped by this candy’s perfumy smell. Ahhh…breathe. eyes. memory.
Now honestly, this lemonade tastes much better than “Violets.” The flavors and the aroma are far more subtle. (Although you can increase the lavender flavor to meet your liking.) Still, I found using an herbal infussion of lavender in old-fashioned lemonade made me feel cool and hip. But in the back of my mind, I couldn’t stop feeling as if I was back in time, sitting in a station wagon, and peering into Grandmother’s purse.