I like to think of this as a duel-purpose beverage, because it is both an unusual and delicious addition to a barbeque or party, as well as a sort of healing tonic if you are recovering from a virus or some sort of physical trauma.  Since I am currently doing all of those things (recovering, barbecuing, etc.), I have been sipping a lot of these spicy lemonades.

Chile and Herb Infused Lemonade

The base recipe makes a lightly-sweet and mildly spicy drink, and you can add and subtract amounts as you like.  I used lemon balm as the herb for this particular infusion, but I also grow and use lemon thyme, lemon verbena, lemon basil, and lemon-scented geranium.  I am incredibly fond of lemon herbs, obviously.   For the chile infusion, I use my ubiquitous favorite, Aleppo pepper.  Other great peppers to substitute would be Guajillo or Ancho.  I don’t like the smokey overtone of chipotle with this, but use what you like.

Chile and Herb Infused Lemonade
Recipe type: Beverage
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup honey (or more, to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon crushed Aleppo pepper
  • 2 or 3 strips fresh lemon zest
  • 1 large handful fresh lemon balm, or other lemon-scented herb
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Crushed ice
  • Lemon slices and/or more fresh herbs, as garnish
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the water with the honey, Aleppo pepper, lemon zest, and lemon balm. Heat to a low boil and then remove from heat and let it steep for ten to fifteen minutes.
  2. Strain the infusion through a fine sieve and add it to your serving pitcher along with the fresh lemon juice. Taste to adjust honey and/or lemon juice as desired. Add in a few cups of crushed ice and the lemon slices and reserved fresh herbs, and serve.

Chile and Herb Infused Lemonade

If you are serving this at an adults-only event, it is also great with a splash of vodka or rum.  I’m sure that also adds to its medicinal values, or at least makes you care a lot less about any sniffling or sneezing.

Thanks for reading,


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  1. Looks delicious and very special…hope you feel better soon!

    1. Thanks, Bonnie–I am finally well!

  2. Love the idea to add a splash of Vodka to this delicious lemonade!
    Hope you are feeling better today.

    1. It does make a great cocktail!

  3. Angela – Hope you are feeling better!! Love the recipe for the chile & herb infused lemonade!! Looks so refreshing!! Have a good week!! Tina ( :

    1. Thanks, Tina–finally feeling better!

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