“Waiter, there’s a black speck in my lemonade.”
I know this is kind of a strange-looking lemonade. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I’ve questioned whether or not I even want to post it here. In fact, I’ve been sitting on it since spring! Because it looks … well, how it looks.
But you guys! This fresh-squeezed vanilla bean lemonade is so divine. All you have to do is remember: that’s not dirt, it’s vanilla! Glorious, wonderful vanilla.
I love this stuff. With tart, fresh lemon juice and creamy notes of vanilla, this lemonade reminds me of a super-refreshing creamsicle.
If the black specks bother you, just strain it through a cheesecloth to discard most of the little vanilla bean specks. A few will make it through, but it’ll be a little prettier overall.
Specks or not, I promise this is an incredible from-scratch lemonade – perfect for toasting goodbye to summer. Too soon? Okay, pretend I didn’t just say that. There’s still lots of lemonade-imbibing summer to be had! (Either way, just do it!)
Vanilla Bean Lemonade
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup + 3 cups water (divided)
- 1 vanilla bean (sliced open and seeds scraped)
- 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- Ice for serving
- Add the sugar and 1 cup water to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Slice the vanilla bean open with a paring knife and scrape the "caviar" (seeds) from the bean and add to the saucepan along with the remaining whole bean. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins to steam and the sugar has dissolved, about 3-4 minutes.
- Remove from heat and set aside for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add remaining 3 cups water and lemon juice to a pitcher. Set a fine-mesh sieve over the pitcher and pour in the vanilla/sugar mixture. Discard solids.
- Stir with a spoon and chill.
- Fill individual glasses with ice and pour lemonade over the ice. Add a straw if desired and serve.