By Jennifer Provenza at Good Food From The Heart updated 2/13/2022
This is a tangy, aromatic, sweet, delicious, cooling lemonade. Homemade vanilla rosewater lemonade is perfect for a backyard barbeque, a picnic, a camping trip. You get the picture.
Whole foods plant based, sugar free or no refined sugar, gluten free, nut free, soy free
Refreshing, Sweet Lemonade
Isn’t lemonade just the best treat for a hot summer day? When the weather gets warm, I have visions of lemonade stands and picnics and pretty soon you will find me juicing a whole bag of lemons. And, if you are anything like me, the lemonade will be gone practically the second you make it! Now, this particular recipe calls for vanilla bean (or extract) and rose water, but you can absolutely leave it out if you just want regular lemonade. Personally, though, ever since I ordered vanilla lemonade from a local restaurant, I have enjoyed adding other flavors to my lemonade.
Lemons: Be sure to start with fresh lemons. While you can certainly use bottled lemon juice, it just won’t taste the same. Luckily, if you get a bunch of lemons you can always juice them and then freeze the lemon juice in an ice cube tray for later use. That way you can have fresh lemonade any time!
Rose Water: For this recipe, I use rose water to add that delicious, delicate rose flavor. Feel free to leave it out, but do give it a try at least once! It gives the lemonade a beautiful scent and flavor. If your local grocery store doesn’t sell rose water, it’s easy to find online or at health food stores. Also, if you need something else to use the rose water in, it tastes great in cookies, pancakes, and quick breads. Oh, and in lattes. Mmmm….lattes.
Vanilla Bean: I use a real vanilla bean for that really intense vanilla flavor, but you can certainly replace it with extract or leave it out entirely.
Maple Syrup or Stevia: For a refined sugar free version, use maple syrup. If you need to keep it calorie free and totally free of sugar, you can use stevia. I like liquid stevia, like Sweetleaf. I’m so glad I discovered that the sugar free version tastes just as good. My kids don’t notice the difference at all and they are tough customers!
For the sweetener: You can make a simple syrup using regular sugar and use that instead if you prefer. A simple syrup would be a cup of sugar and a cup of water, heated until the sugar is melted. You could use coconut sugar for a refined sugar free option.
For the lemon juice: You can substitute bottled lemon juice, but it will not taste as good.
For the vanilla bean: You can replace with vanilla extract. Use clear extract if you don’t want it to discolor the lemonade.
Yes, they are optional.
Yes, if you use the stevia option.
Yes! It’s a great alternative to water on a hot day, especially if it encourages you to drink more and stay hydrated.
No, but I mean, if you wanted to mix it with some tea and make an Arnold Palmer it could.
Yes! It actually tastes great mixed with sparkling water.
Yes. Feel free to adjust the sweetener to taste.
How To Make It
This homemade vanilla bean and rose lemonade comes together in no time! You don’t even have to make a simple syrup, so there is no cook time. Simply mix all the ingredients together in a pretty container and serve over ice. It goes great with my Vegetable Stir Fry With Peanut Sauce, Brown Rice Noodles, and Crispy Tofu (and really with any main course).
Homemade Vanilla Rose Water Lemonade (With Sugar Free Option)
- 4 lemons juiced
- 4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon pure liquid stevia (or 1/2 cup maple syrup)
- 1 teaspoon rose water
- seeds from 1 vanilla bean
- Squeeze four lemons, getting as much juice out as you can. Add the water, stevia (or maple syrup), rose water, and vanilla bean seeds. Stir. Serve over ice.
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