What tastes better than icy cold lemonade on a hot day? My sweet Southern variation... Vanilla Bean Lemonade, which is fresh lemonade infused with vanilla. It's simple, delicious and the perfect foundation for many adult mix-ins: sweet tea vodka, raspberry vodka, spiced rum, and even bourbon.


2 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 cup sugar  (to taste, add more if you like a sweeter lemonade)

7-8 cups water (based on how strong you like your lemonade)

1-2 vanilla beans (I like a very vanilla flavor so I use 2 beans)

Split the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds. Make a simple syrup: Add 1 cup of the water, the sugar, and the vanilla bean and seeds to a pan. Bring to a boil and turn off heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Let cool completely. Remove the bean once the simple syrup is cooled. In a large pitcher add the vanilla simple syrup, lemon juice, and water.

Lemonade Serving Tips: On a hot day, I will use 1 cup less water because I know the lemonade will become diluted with the melting ice. Often, I will freeze lemonade into ice cubes or freeze large plastic containers of lemonade. I put the lemonade into a large plastic milk jug or other repurposed plastic bottle. Freeze solid. A few hours before the party, I remove them from the freezer and allow them to become slushy. Soooo good on a hot day!