Ingredient: Herbed lemonade
What: A cocktail is not for everyone (or every occasion). It’s handy to have something besides the subtle delights of D.C. tap water to serve to summertime guests. Julie Gray Stinar of Evensong Farm has one clever option: herbed lemonade.
Her son wanted to start selling lemonade at their market stands in Silver Spring and Penn Quarter. (Evensong specializes in meat.) Stinar came up with the idea of adding herbs from their Maryland farm, so as to make the beverage appropriate for a producer-only market. She sells it for $2 a glass.
How to buy: Because the herbs are steeped in the juice-and-sugar mixture, this is a great use of less-than-perfect or wilted herbs found during the closing hours of a market.
How to make: Throughout June, Julie suggests a mint and sage lemonade. Rinse orange mint, Kentucky Colonel mint, and sage, and place them in a bowl. Cover the herbs with a pint of lemon juice and a cup of sugar, more or less to taste. Add boiling water to cover the leaves, stir, and let stand overnight.
In the morning, strain out the herbs. Then, add cold water to make a gallon, pouring it through your strained herbs to loosen any sugar caught in their leaves. Adjust sweetness to taste and serve over ice.