I know it’s hard to believe, but sometimes I need to take a break from beer.
This column is taking a family-friendly turn, just for this week, and featuring another type of “craft” beverage.
Bear with me you guys, this drink won’t bore your tastebuds. It’s vibrant, acidic, floral and the perfect concoction to welcome in the budding spring.
Restaurant: Natural Juice Cafe
Alcohol by volume: None because it’s lemonade
Style: Lemonade infused with lavender flowers
Bottom line: A vibrant beverage to welcome in the spring
Everyone, meet Natural Juice Cafe’s lavender lemonade.
Brett Copeland, who manages the cafe, said he wanted to enhance lemonade by finding an ingredient that compliments it.
To make the drink, he steeps lavender flowers in simple syrup for 15-20 minutes. Copeland then strains the liquid and adds it to lemon juice, water and a bit of ice.
The beverage could end there, but it doesn’t. Copeland takes it to the next level by putting it on tap, which adds carbon dioxide.
“The key to the machine is the carbonation,” Copeland said. “The lavender lemonade is fresh and made with natural ingredients.”
With most lavender beverages, beer included, the plant notes usually mingle with the base flavor. This is not the case with Natural Juice Cafe’s lavender lemonade.
The lavender flavor is equally as bright as the lemon.
The drink simultaneously made my mouth pucker and gave me fresh floral breath. While it’s refreshing, it’s not exactly easy-drinking. The bold flavors kindly ask that you hold back for a second and admire them.
I regularly get swept away in my love of beer and forget about fun non-alcoholic beverages. This lavender lemonade offers a sensory experience without needing the power of fermentation.
If you need to take a little step away from beer like me, or want something you can share with your kids, I encourage you to try Natural Juice Cafe’s lavender lemonade.
You can find this beautiful beverage at the Natural Juice Cafe, located at 2480 Limestone Parkway in Gainesville.