This refreshing honeysuckle limeade delights the senses with a slightly sweet, mostly tangy taste of summer.
When I saw the flower power theme of this month’s recipe redux, I did a double take. My first thought was to use a life line and skip this month. I mean… where the heck am I going to get edible flowers? I’ve never thought about including flowers in cooking. Then I remembered that it is a challenge. So I got to it. I looked online for sources, inquired at my local Whole Foods and checked with the farmers at a couple neighborhood markets. What I really wanted was honeysuckle flowers but I had not seen the fragrant blossoms around my neighborhood since early spring.
Growing up in the rural south, honeysuckle was the fragrance of long summer walks and bike rides. It grew all over the place. Though I loved the fragrance, I never actually tasted honeysuckle as a kid. After some extensive research, I learned that some honeysuckle is safe to eat. And it tastes just like it smells – a sweet, honey nectar flavor.
On a morning jog last week I was turned around by the intoxicating aroma of honeysuckle. Though I had to contend with a voracious bumble bee (shown above), I was excited to find it. I pulled a few pieces and later that day this Honeysuckle Limeade recipe was born. Consider it a taste of summer in a glass…
- For the honeysuckle simple syrup
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup honeysuckle flowers
- For the limeade
- ½ cup fresh lime juice
- ½ cup simple syrup
- 4 cups cold water
- To make the simple syrup...
- Add heat the sugar and water in a small pot over medium heat until all sugar dissolves. Remove the syrup from the heat. Add the honeysuckle flowers. Steep for 20-30 minutes - just until the flavor is infused. Strain and bottle the syrup. Refrigerate any leftover syrup and use within the week.
- To make the limeade...
- Combine all ingredients in a pitcher and stir. Taste for sweet/tart balance. Adjust with additional lime juice or simple syrup to suit your taste.
- Chill or serve over ice.
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Stephanie Wilson, RD
Sounds like the perfect cocktail base to me! Add little gin, perhaps? 😉 Yum!
Ha! This is true, Stephanie!
Honeysuckles remind me of my childhood too! We’d suck the base of the flower for the nectar (my dad who grew up in rural PA taught us – just assuming they were all edible – ha 🙂 A lovely summer drink!
Thanks Deanna! Honeysuckle will forever be the scent of summer for me.