Turmeric Lemongrass Lemonade

With perhaps our most delicate ingredients—turmeric and lemongrass—we choose vodka as a base, which adds texture without vying for weight in the flavor profile. Since the citrusy side of lemongrass tends to override its lighter, more floral notes, we use elderflower liqueur to tilt the cocktail further in that direction. Like ginger, turmeric’s earthy-grassy scent is worth emboldening within the cocktail, and a prosecco accomplishes this nicely, the dry effervescence helping to pull those more subtle flavors to the forefront.

By & / Photography By Ryan Benyi | March 15, 2015

Ingredients

  • 2 long stalks lemongrass
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6–8 lemons
  • 1 knob fresh turmeric, about the size of your thumbnail, peeled*

Preparation

Use a serrated knife to make superficial cuts along the length of your lemongrass. Bruise the lemongrass to release its oils by bending slightly along the cut lines. Slip cut stalks into a pot filled with 2 cups filtered water. Add sugar, bring to a boil and let simmer until the sugar has dissolved and the lemongrass softened, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let steep for at least 30 minutes and up to an hour. Strain through a fine sieve. Discard lemongrass stems. Chill liquid, covered, for at least an hour and up to 1 week to create simple syrup.

Use a small, serrated knife to peel lemons. Push lemons and turmeric through juicer and into a serving pitcher. Add lemongrass simple syrup to taste and serve immediately over ice or chill for an hour before serving.

*Fresh turmeric stains counters, cutting boards and rags a (gorgeous) yellow. Be careful where you place it. It is available at the Clintonville Community Market and Lucky’s Market. Call ahead to make sure they have it in stock.

Cooking

For a cocktail…

In a mixing tin or large glass, combine 1½ cups lemongrass lemonade, ½ cup vodka, ½ cup St. Germain elderflower liqueur, and ⅛–¼ cup lemon juice. Stir gently to blend ingredients (about 5 seconds), and pour into tall glasses. Top with prosecco or sparkling water, and garnish with a stalk of lemongrass.

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 long stalks lemongrass
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6–8 lemons
  • 1 knob fresh turmeric, about the size of your thumbnail, peeled*

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