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Lemon Balm Spritzer – Healthy & Refreshing

Lemon Balm Spritzer – Healthy & Refreshing

I’ve got the most delightful lemon balm spritzer for ya. It’s the balm bomb! And since it’s HOT out there, this seemed like the right time to share it.

Although I wage an ongoing battle against the lemon balm that was allowed to run riot in all the garden beds before we bought our house, I adore the stuff. It’s got a lovely flavor and smell – grassy, citrusy and floral.

Lemon balm is also a bit of a Renaissance herb – it’s a mild sedative, analgesic (pain killer) and antiviral and can be used to calm stomach upset, aid digestion, speed sleep, soothe bug bites and treat cold sores. So as I yank it up by the roots, I save some of the fragrant leaves to use.

Lemon Balm to Make Simple Syrup by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2014

The thing I am loving right now is lemon balm simple syrup – packed with flavor and oozing sweetness, it’s a great base for drinks. And it could not be simpler (no pun intended, for once!) to make. The ingredients are just water, sugar and lemon balm leaves – in equal proportions. If you do not eat sugar, you might want to experiment with just infusing the leaves into hot water and then mixing that with some maple syrup, honey or agave as an alternative – apologies that I do not have any exact directions for you but I bet you could get good results without sugar, too.

Adding Sugar to the Lemon Balm Simple Syrup by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2014

Combine them in a small saucepan, bring to a boil, simmer for a minute or two then remove from the heat and let it cool.

Simmering the Lemon Balm Simple Syrup by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2014

Once it’s cooled, just strain out the leaves and store it in an airtight container in the fridge.

Strainer for the Lemon Balm Simple Syrup by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2014

You can store it in a glass canning jar, like the one below.

Lemon Balm Simple Syrup by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2014

Then it’s spritzer time! I like to mix a tablespoon of the simple syrup with a generous squeeze of lemon with seltzer and ice for a zesty and refreshing drink. Sometimes I will also add some fresh thyme, rosemary or basil to the pot with the lemon balm since they’re great companion flavors. See the simple instructions below.

Lemon Balm Simple Syrup & Lemon  Spritzer by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2014

I also like to make a super easy tea with the leaves. Just toss them in boiling water and let them steep. You can drink it hot or let it chill for a super refreshing, flavorful cooler. Instructions here. Since lemon balm is a lot harder to come by in the winter months, I also dry some of the leaves and store them in an airtight container so that I can make it all year long. Luckily, our screened porch serves very well for drying though I can also toss the leaves into our dehydrator†if I’m feeling impatient or the weather is wet.

Drying fresh lemon balm by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2013

Lemon Balm Simple Syrup

Ingredients

* 1 cup loosely packed lemon balm leaves, rinsed (you can also add some fresh thyme, rosemary or basil if those flavors sound appealing to you)
* 1 cup organic cane sugar
* 1 cup water

Directions

Stir the three ingredients together in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and then simmer for one minute, until the sugar has dissolved completely. Remove from the heat and let stand for 30 minutes. Strain out the leaves and toss them into the compost. Store in an airtight glass container in the fridge – it will keep for at least a month.

Try mixing 2 tablespoons (or more – you can decide how strong/sweet you like it) into a glass of iced seltzer with a generous squeeze of organic lemon juice for a wonderful spritzer.

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Eve Fox

Eve is the creator of The Garden of Eating, a blog about food--cooking it, eating it, and growing it. She has a legendary love of aprons and can often be found salivating over the fruits and veggies at one of the many farmersí markets near her home in Woodstock, NY. Want even more recipes, photos, giveaways, and food-related inspiration? "Like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow Eve on Twitter or Pinterest.

94 comments

+ add your own
10:12AM PDT on Sep 14, 2014

Thank you

7:35AM PDT on Jul 31, 2014

Sounds delicious. Good to know I can use dried lemon balm, since I live in an apt.

12:42AM PDT on Jul 31, 2014

Looks good thanks

5:07AM PDT on Jul 27, 2014

Thanks

10:27AM PDT on Jul 26, 2014

Thank you :)

5:23PM PDT on Jul 25, 2014

Looks like mint.

9:18AM PDT on Jul 22, 2014

Will try it-thanks

12:35PM PDT on Jul 20, 2014

First time this year I am growing lemon balm. Thanks for the ideas on what to do with it. I have a dehydrator and I did not think about the winter months without...so thanks for that tip too.

10:23PM PDT on Jul 15, 2014

nice

8:43AM PDT on Jul 14, 2014

Thank you.

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