|Rainier Cherry-Vanilla Bean Lemonade|
|Our Picnic: Rainier Cherry-Vanilla Bean Lemonade, Brussel Sprout Slaw, |
& Italian Sub Sandwiches
For the Rainier Cherry-Vanilla Bean Infused Simple Syrup:
1-2 Vanilla Beans, Split & Scraped for Beans (depending on how strong you want it)
1lb Fresh Rainier Cherries, Pitted
For the Vanilla Bean Lemonade:
Prepared Rainier Cherry-Vanilla Bean Infused Simple Syrup, Chilled
1C Fresh Lemon Juice
3-4C Cold Water (or to your preferred strength)
1lb Fresh Rainier Cherries, Pitted & Frozen (to act as ice cubes for serving)
1. For the Rainier Cherry-Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup: In a pot, heat the honey and water, whisking until the honey is dissolved completely. Add in the vanilla beans, their pods, and rainier cherries into the syrup and let them steep in the boiling syrup. Once it comes to a boil, turn off the heat and let the flavors meld for 3 hours. Once the syrup is thick and room temperature, strain the syrup (in order to remove the pods and softened cherries) and then pour the syrup into a container and chill overnight.
2. For the Rainier Cherry-Vanilla Bean Lemonade: Add the fresh lemon juice, chilled rainier cherry-vanilla bean infused simple syrup, and cold water (about 3-4C depending on the desired strength). Refrigerate the vanilla bean lemonade for an hour.
3. When serving, fill mason jars with frozen rainier cherries (to act as ice cubes) and pour in the lemonade and garnish with lemon slices or fresh rainier cherries & a straw. I find that using frozen rainier cherries as ice cubes are especially helpful when taking this lemonade on a picnic because the lemonade will not be watered down by the time you get to enjoy them.