Monday, June 11, 2012

Joys of Summer: Lemonade

Home-made lemonade really tastes better than frozen.

For some reason, I drink lemonade only in summer. Maybe I do this because lemonade is the only juice that I serve iced. Other juices get poured into small fluted glasses, but lemonade goes into the biggest glass I can find. Furthermore, that glass is filled with ice.

During hot weather, I always keep a few cans of frozen lemonade on hand. However, my favorite lemonade by far is homemade. I use an old Joy of Cooking recipe. That recipe explains how to make it by the glassful, but I've done the math so I can make it by the quart. Although the recipe states that you can just mix everything together and serve without cooking, it also points out that the taste improves if you start by boiling the sugar and water together to make a simple syrup. They're not kidding.  Make the syrup!

The recipe is simple:
  • Mix a quart of water with 3/4 cup granulated sugar and a dash of salt. 
  • Boil for 2 minutes and let cool.
  • Add 6 Tbsp. lemon juice.
  • (I usually throw in a few lemon slices for good measure and for appearance.)
These measurements are just approximate; cut the sugar or add more juice to suit your taste. If I'm going to be slurping a lot of liquid on a hot day, I usually cut the sugar. One way I do this is by mixing lemonade with unsweetened ice tea. This mixture is called an Arnold Palmer, after the golfer who often asked for it.  If you use decaffeinated tea, you can drink many glassfuls without getting wired.

By the way, those gorgeous giant lemons do not have as much juice as do smaller ones, so buy bags full of smaller ones if you can. Before juicing, press your palm down on the lemon and roll it back and forth on a hard surface. You will extract more juice that way. 

1 comment:

  1. "done the math" I love it. I knew I had somehow gotten this from you.