Spring has definitely sprung in Australia and with the warmer weather comes picnic and cold refreshments. This rose lemonade is a ridiculously simple but gorgeous drink with a hint of rose and the sweet tang of home made lemonade. Better still it doesn't require any heating, just a bit of stirring!
Making lemonade is a cinch and if you have an excess of lemons or lemonade fruit (a cross between an orange and lemon grown in Australia and New Zealand) then this is a great and easy recipe for them. Depending on the citrus you use you can use less or more sugar. If you have Meyer lemons you may need a little more sugar but not much but if you have regular lemons then you may need more but the best thing is it is all done to taste and you add as much or as little sugar as you want.
I first tried the rose lemon combination at dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant called Aaboll Cafe. It was a beautiful combination - the rose is present but not floral or soapy and just gives the lemonade more dimension than if it were just lemon and sugar. I was determined to make some with the lemonade fruit that Valentina had given me.
It's funny how relationships start and how you get to know people through others and they become friends. I'm lucky to be surrounded by generous souls and wonderful friends and some have intertwined nicely too. I met Valentina a few years ago I fell in love with her vintage cake stands. Valentina was sweet enough to give me four for photo shoots along with a big bag of lemonade fruit and oranges. When I knew that my friend and hairdresser Elly was having a baby shower I asked her if she wanted to borrow the cake stands. They were too beautiful to sit in my props stand to be only taken out for a photo shoot.
The morning before the baby shower Elly and Talia (who I got to know through her job at Sonoma Bakery and Elly) piled into Elly's car and made the drive out to Flemington Markets to pick up flowers. It was an early start but one that I was happy to do because I had never been and I adore flowers and often spend far too much on them every week.
We ended up buying an entire car boot load of flowers. With the exception of rainbow roses (which were $60!) they were ridiculously cheap. Every corner held a colourful array of blossoms. We bought so many that we could barely walk back to the car. They were surprisingly heavy and Talia rubbed her arms, "I think I got a good bicep workout," she said.
We bought so many bunches of roses, purposely so because I had one thing on my mind: rose lemonade.
So tell me Dear Reader, how do you meet most of your friends? Through work? Through other friends? Or through the internet or groups? And psst those of you in the Northern Hemisphere, here is a recipe for you as I know that it is getting cold where you are - homemade chai syrup!