Plans for the stand began weeks before school let out. He saw the potential for profit enabling him to buy yet another lightsaber while we saw the opportunity to teach hard work, beginning business skills and a way for us to drink cup after cup of tart lemonade this summer.

The moment Baron (6) came up with the brilliant idea of building the stand on his wagon, making it mobile, everything else quickly fell into place. Gabe set out to work getting a few moments of help from the boys in between sword fights, while I perfected the recipe and kept little fingers away from sharp saws. Covered in plastic ponchos Baron, Roman (4) and I painted the stand a pristine white with lemon (of course) yellow stripes stretching the width.

I stood back to observe the scene and set its details deep in my memory. A blonde head of hair covered in white paint as he took his job of painting the inside of the stand (a section virtually unseen by anyone) very seriously. He refused to stop until every inch was coated in a thick layer of paint – including himself. Baron directed us and gave tips on painting techniques, pridefully beaming as we inched our way closer to opening day. The grass, now covered in a layer of paint became cool and damp as the gentle sun made way for evening. Carrying our tired and chilled bodies inside we warmed up with hot chocolate while yet dreaming of our lemonade business.

So far we’ve only opened one day as the rains have kept us inside and leave very few pining for the refreshing chill of lemonade but it was a successful first day. As the first customer approached the stand Baron quickly tucked in his shirt to appear a bit more professional and promptly set out to muddle a few cherries into their cup. Timidly avoiding eye contact he thanked them and proudly took their money while handing them their cup. With the first customers just steps away he was already eager for the next.

Roman helped too, although we are still working on his understanding that not every cup of lemonade is for him. A lesson we realized necessary as he took a drink of a customer’s before handing it to her. We made her a fresh cup while laughing at his sweet misunderstanding. Unlike his brother, he’s not as motivated by the money but would just rather sit and drink lemonade all day. I couldn’t love them more.

There have been only a few days that demand the cooling effects of lemonade but we have had a taste of what the sunny days of summer look like for us now as lemonade stand owners. And it’s as pleasant as the lemonade itself – not too sweet, tart but not painfully so and softly piney and herbal – a far cry from the Country Time powdered concoction I sold at my childhood stand.

It feels a momentous thing, this lemonade stand. One that evokes memories of my childhood while sealing in new memories for both us and the kids. It’s a small project with great reward – growth as a family, connectedness with our community, learning to serve, pushing oneself out of our comforts and a near endless supply of lemonade.



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Rosemary Lemonade


Honey and lemons are a natural pairing which is why my version uses honey in the simple syrup. As a result less sugar is needed and it gives the lemonade a herbal sweetness that sets it apart and leaves customers returning again and again.

makes about 2 ½ quarts
½ cup honey (use a light flavored honey such as clover)
½ cup sugar
2 cups water
3 sprigs rosemary
2 cups fresh lemon juice
about 5 cups water (more or less depending on desired sweetness and tang)

Rainier cherries (or whatever variety you have on hand)

In a small saucepan combine the honey, sugar and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil then turn off the heat. Give this mixture a quick stir to ensure all the sugar has dissolved then add the rosemary. Let steep until cool.

Meanwhile juice enough lemons to produce 2 cups of lemon juice. I like a bit of pulp in my lemonade so I strain the juice then add back a bit of pulp.

When the syrup is cool combine it with the lemon juice in a pitcher. Add in 5 cups water (you can start with 4 then add more if needed. I like my lemonade quite tart so you may even want to add up to 6 cups). Taste and adjust to your liking.

If serving at a lemonade stand muddle two pitted rainier cherries in each cup before pouring over ice. If not you can muddle a cup or so of cherries into a pitcher then add the lemonade. The cherries don’t give off much flavor to the lemonade but the lemonade gives great flavor to the cherries making them a wonderful reward for finishing an incredibly refreshing cup of lemonade.


50 Responses to “Rosemary Lemonade with cherries”

  1. Melissa

    Too too precious! Love those curls! What a fancy lemonade stand with I am sure the best lemonade ever. Wish I lived closer I would be a repeat customer.

  2. Lauren

    I love this. So so so much. I remember having lemonade stands, and of course still stop at any that I come by! Such sweetness.

  3. IdaBaker

    I love the idea of lemonade and cherries, but rosemary? Is it really good?

    The lemonade stand is incredible, and something I’m sure both you and the kids will cherish for years to come.

    • Ashley Rodriguez

      Ida – I assure you it is. Even the kids were raving. Of course you must like rosemary but I suppose even then perhaps not as it just gives the lemonade a subtle herby kick. It’s soft and piney and somehow works magic with lemons.

  4. Alex

    What a brilliant idea! The stand looks great and that lemonade looks absolutely delicious. Hopefully there is lots of sunny days to come so you can really make the most of this 🙂

  5. Shanna

    Without question, the coolest lemonade stand I’ve ever seen. And the sweetest post about it. Love this one, Ashley.

  6. MG Atwood

    Your stand is fabulous! I would buy lemonade from those cuties! Do they deliever? I would make it worth their while. 🙂

  7. Riley

    My lemonade stands we’re never this cool! Those Ranier cherries look wonderful!

  8. sarah @ two tarts

    Great colors – glowy lemonade, rosemary, and those Rainier cherries. So beautiful, and I’m sure delicious. I did a lavender lemonade last year, rosemary is sounding like an excellent idea for this year! 🙂

    • Ashley Rodriguez

      Sarah – Yes! We’ve been thinking on lavender as well. Usually I’m not a big fan of lavender in my food but for some reason it just seems right with lemons.

  9. Margherita

    Your kids are the cutest thing in the world and with that Lemonade stand they look like a commercial….super cool!

  10. Brenda

    I’m sure you’ll remember (and talk about) these lemonade days thirty years from now 🙂 only wish the stand traveled to the Eastside.

  11. Musings by di

    OMG this TOO CUTE!! That pic of him in his flannel with his hand-made stand is the greatest pic ever~
    love this post and how it mixes something very personal with a great looking post for a drink recipe.

    ♥ Diana

  12. Bonnie

    I love this so much! I love that you guys did this and I love the rosemary in the lemonade. I will definitely be making the lemonade this summer and am tucking the lemonade stand away for when my little one is a bit older. 🙂

  13. suzanne Perazzini

    This could be a scene straight out of my childhood. The other day I saw a group of young teenagers with a cupcake stand up the road. $1 each – what a bargain! Your stand is glorious and your family is adorable.

  14. Lindsay

    Bring that cart to DC! It’s over 100 here. He’d make a pretty penny catering to all the commuters!

  15. Rosie

    Ah, this post is just full of summer! I love the food-related projects you describe doing with your kids. Some of my most distinct memories from childhood involve staring up at counter-tops I could barely see over and gleefully getting a chance to stir bowls!

  16. Lou S

    I’d love if you could join bloglovin’ as it’s my favourite way to read blogs 🙂

    • Ashley Rodriguez

      Hey Lou – How did I not know about this? Thanks. I guess I had heard of it but never took the time to explore. I’m now a member but they already had my site cataloged so I think you can just follow right along. Thanks again for the heads up!

  17. Diana

    It’s a lemonade pop-up shop! Can I follow on twitter to know when it’s open? =)

  18. Caitlin

    This is so precious Ashley! We sure could use some of your lemonade down here in the south, it is H.O.T!

  19. FdeM

    What a beautiful post–it also made me realize of my shortcomings as a mom 🙂 🙂

  20. Beth {local milk}

    Oh wow. I think this is what every one wants having children to be. I do not, as a general rule, desire children… but this post gave me pause & made me wish for boys of my own.

  21. Angela Riu Gordon

    Set the stand out by Green Lake and post about it so people (like me) can go buy a cup!

  22. tapas westchester

    This is so mouthwatering, i would love to buy it if you keep your stand nearby my house. however, i worth trying at home.


  23. Kasey

    Your boys are adorable, Ashley, and this lemonade recipe sounds to die for. My lemonade stand never looked so pro 🙂

  24. jas

    Your lemonade stand is so gorgeous! I remember setting up our drawing table out front as kids and selling cookies to passers by. You know I’ve never made lemonade, but I love the sound of this.

  25. Pieternel

    This is defenitely the best lemonade we ever had!! In this, for Dutch standards, exceptional hot weekend of summer (35 degrees Celcius) we cannot get enough of it. Am convinced the local honey and rosemary from our garden adds our own sweet touch! Thanks for this wonderful recipe!!

  26. Ruchika Gupta

    It’s just sooo perfect for the Indian summer we don’t get rainier cherries but I guess any variety would do .cheers !!