Rosewater Lemonade with Honey

Need that glass of ice cold something, but don’t know what? Try this elegant twist to a summer fave, lemonade with rosewater.


Lately I’ve been experimenting with different techniques for sweetening lemonade, plain white sugar is so passé.

So, first I tried roasting the lemons to bring out their natural sweetness as suggested here, but the flavour was not for me. There was something unpleasant on the finish, it tasted a little burnt, and not in a good way. After a few more failed experiments, I tried a honey sweetened lemonade and found myself a winner. To complement the floral notes in the honey I’m adding just a splash of rosewater. It’s subtle but I think I think it brings a lot to the party.


For maximum yield, microwave each lemon for about 30 seconds and roll it on the countertop pressing down with the palm of your hand before squeezing. Use your hands, a lemon reamer, or the gadget of your choice to juice the lemons. Pick out any seeds and discard them. You can also strain the pulp if you’d prefer, I don’t bother.


For a little extra pizazz, add a few fresh herbs or edible flowers next time you fill the ice cube tray. There are zillions of Johnny Jump Ups growing in my garden and I’m a food stylist with limited self-control, so there are lots of cheerful purple blooms floating in my cocktails these days. It’s the little things.

Rosewater Honey Lemonade
Recipe Type: Beverages
Serves: 1 large pitcher
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 6 large lemons)
  • ½ cup honey
  • 9 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon rosewater*
  • *Most Indian and Middle Eastern speciality shops sell Rosewater or look in the imported food section at your grocery store.
  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat warm the honey with 1 cup of the water, stirring until the honey dissolves. You won't need to bring it to a boil, just hot enough to melt the honey.
  2. Combine the lemon juice with the remaining 8 cups of water in a large pitcher. Add the honey mixture and rosewater and stir to combine.
  3. Serve chilled over ice. Garnish with slices of lemon or strawberry, fresh lemon balm or mint, whatever tickles your fancy.

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