Lemongrass and Pandan Lemonade, Hold The Ice

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Late last summer my dear friend Maya, of Foodiva’s Kitchen, sent me a wonderful gift. I received a package of fresh pandan leaves, all the way from Brunie. Some of you may remember that Maya guest posted for me sharing her delicious recipe for Pandan-Wrapped Chicken. She sent me the pandan leaves so I could taste that scrumptious recipe, and it tasted amazing. I also made Pandan Coconut Rice, and that too tasted fantastic. With the remaining leaves I wanted to experiment a little. I’ve kept them gently wrapped in my freezer all these months until the inspiration struck.

lemongrass; lemon grass; lemon; lemonade; Pandan; Pandan leaves; tea; cold weather lemonade; recipe; receta; honey; sweet; drink; iced; summer; winter; healthy; low-fat; low sugar; Spicie Foodie

Let’s refresh our memories as to what pandan leaves are, pandan also know as screwpine is a tropical plant widely used in Southeast Asian cuisine. pandan leaves are long, green and have a fragrant smell that is hard for me to put my finger on. It is a bit nutty, woody but somewhat sweet, really the smell is just incredible and unique.  These aromatic leaves are used to flavor both savory and sweet foods. They can be used as a food colorant, and as you can see from this recipe they are also used to make drinks. Sometimes they are referred to the vanilla of the East because they impart a vanilla like taste, though I didn’t think it had a vanilla flavor.

Lemongrass is a plant also common to Asian cuisine. It has a, you guessed it, lemon scent and flavor. Most commonly it is used to flavor curries, soups and drinks. Most of you would recognize lemongrass as a think stalk that is quite firm, pale at the bottom and greener as it extends. If you’ve ever had Thai Tom Yum soup you’ll find the thin woody slices in the soup. For this recipe I’ve used dried lemongrass as that is all I could find. I purchased mine in a spice shop but you could also look in Asian stores or tea shops.

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Since I had previously made a meal and side dish using the Pandan leaves, a drink was my next choice. I love lemonade on a steamy summer day but on a grey frigid winter’s night lemonade is not my first drink choice. So to have my lemonade craving satisfied I chilled the lemonade then only added a few ice cubes. That way I wouldn’t be shivering during dinner. Below is the recipe.

lemongrass; lemon grass; lemon; lemonade; Pandan; Pandan leaves; tea; cold weather lemonade; recipe; receta; honey; sweet; drink; iced; summer; winter; healthy; low-fat; low sugar; Spicie Foodie

(If you would like to publish my recipe on your website please quote Spicie Foodie as the recipe creator, and place a link back to the recipe.)
Lemongrass and Pandan Lemonade, Hold The Ice
2 pandan leaves (screwpine leaves), fresh or defrosted
1/2 cup dried lemongrass, if dried is not available substitute with 1 fresh stalk
5 cups water
2 large lemons juiced
honey, to taste

Panda leaves can be found either fresh or frozen at many Asian stores. Dried lemongrass can also be found there, or look for it in tea or spice shops.

1. Tie the pandan leaves into knots, place inside a large pot with the dried lemongrass and water. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Turn heat off and strain.

2. Place the strained liquid back in pot or large pitcher, pour in the lemon juice and desired honey. Allow to cool for 15 minutes then place inside refrigerator until ready to serve.

Since it is still winter here I only added a few ice cubes to the already cold lemonade. If you prefer a cooler drink, place ice cubes in cups before serving.

lemongrass; lemon grass; lemon; lemonade; Pandan; Pandan leaves; tea; cold weather lemonade; recipe; receta; honey; sweet; drink; iced; summer; winter; healthy; low-fat; low sugar; Spicie Foodie

The combination of pandan leaves, lemongrass and lemon was perfect. To add just a little sweetness without overpowering the flavors and scents of the pandan and lemongrass I used honey. The result was a well balanced sweet, aromatic, citrusy drink. My hubby who isn’t the biggest lemonade drinker also agreed that this unique drink tasted delicious and that the flavors and smells complimented each other well. Of course everyone’s taste is different so adjust ingredient amounts to your taste.

lemongrass; lemon grass; lemon; lemonade; Pandan; Pandan leaves; tea; cold weather lemonade; recipe; receta; honey; sweet; drink; iced; summer; winter; healthy; low-fat; low sugar; Spicie Foodie

Cheers and have a great weekend everyone! See you Sunday for another edition of Sunday Snapshots.

 

Check out these pandan recipes:
Pandan and Honey Melon Ice Cream by Foodiva’s Kitchen
The Cobbler Cocktail: Vodka with Grapes Macerated in Monastery Herbal Liqueur & Pandan Simple Syrup by Tasty Trix
Lemon Grass and Pandan Leave Ice-Tea by Tes At Home
Lechon Manok (Filipino Roast Chicken) by Adora
Baked Pandan Cake (Kuih Bakar Pandan) by Sugar & Everything Nice
Jasmine and Pandan Macarons by Alana Bread
Pandan Smoothie by Anncoo Journal

Comments

  1. says

    I love both lemongrass and pandan leaves… but never thought to use them in a drink!! Wow.. very creative! Have a great weekend~ Ramona

  2. says

    Always love your pictures…
    I can imagine how the fragrant smell like. That’s a unique combination flavor and I have the ingredients abundant here, thanks for sharing ^,^

  3. says

    Oh, how beautiful and refreshing. A lovely twist on ordinary lemonade…you’ve kicked it up fabulously!!! Have a wonderful weekend~

  4. says

    Ha-you have answered the burning question I have had in my mind concerning lemon grass. I wondered if it could ever be used in something sweet instead of savory and now I have the answer. I am sure that this beverage has some amazing flavor-very creative of you to come up with this blend. Happy Friday!

    • says

      Hi Tina,

      Haha, now you know :) The lemongrass and pandan combination is a common one but I think the lemon juice and honey are unique to the mix. Thanks and happy Friday to you too!

    • says

      Hi Roxana,

      You should give them a try. Since you love baking you could also make great baked goodies with them. Me too, can’t wait for summer. Thanks!

  5. says

    I do love Pandan leaves and yes, they are used very widely in South East Asian dishes, sweet or savoury. I’ve tried growing them unsuccessfully a number of times here in the UK. Have now given up and just get them online. BTW, the pandan coconut rice is called Nasi Lemak in Malay and is usually eaten with a spicy sambal, amongst other things. Love your lemonade, very refreshing, definitely one to try in the summer!

  6. says

    What a brilliant way to use pandan – I have never seen it done before. Beautiful photos, too. I just love the lighting, it’s like stained glass.

  7. says

    Oh, I really like her…Maya is such a wonderful and sincere person. So nice of her to send you pandan leaves! It’s not easy to get, unless you know where to look for, even where I live. This sounds like really delicious lemonade – I haven’t yet tried pandan leaves but I visit so many Asian blogs and they all use them. I might have tried the flavor while I was in SE Asia before, but didn’t recognize it back then. I need to continue searching pandan leaves!

    • says

      Hi Nami,

      Yes, she, Maya, really is. It was very sweet of her to send the gift and introduce me to a new ingredient. I hope you find them so you can try it.

  8. says

    this looks like a fun recipe and of course creative. I love twists on classics, and this looks like a refreshing different one. Now to find those leaves…

    • says

      Hey Sommer,

      Thank you! I hope you can find them. I’ve looked in some Asian stores here, Vietnamese and Japanese but they didn’t have them. Maybe you’ll have better luck then I .

  9. says

    That looks so refreshing and delicious! What a coincidence?! I made a recipe with pandan leaves today as well :)

    I grew up enjoying meals made with infusing pandan leaves and it truly lends an aroma and taste that is indescribable :D

  10. says

    I love lemonade but this sounds even better. I wish I could smell the incredible aroma that this leaf gives off – I can’t even shine it. Maybe someday we will have aroma Internet along with smellavision! I’d love to try this recipe but not sure I’d be able to locate this leaf.

  11. says

    this is such a great idea! i’m in the process of giving up “processed” iced tea. this would be a good substitute. what is the asian name of pandan leaves, do you know?

    • says

      Hi Jean,

      This drink is on many levels above processed tea. Pandan names are, screw pine leaf = screwpine leaf = bai toey =bai touy = pandanus leaf = daun pandan = pandan leaf = kewra = rampe leaf . I got the info from Foodsubs.com

  12. says

    this sounds wonderful! i’ve never (to my knowledge) tasted pandan, but i love fancy lemonades, and adding something woodsy and vanilla-ish seems really lovely. i want to try it!

  13. says

    I love the look of your Lemongrass and Pandan Lemonade! I would love to try this with Meyer lemons, will have to make a trip to the Asian market to see if I can pick up the Pandan leaves, I’ve seen Lemongrass many times. Enjoy your weekend Nancy;-)

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