When life gives you lemonsMake lemonade

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Lemon –AID! (Orange and Lime, too!)

I live in a family of lemonade snobs.  In a restaurant, before they ever order it they always ask if it’s fresh, from concentrate or a powder.  If the answer is powder – it’ll never make its way to the table.

So, I had no choice but to learn how to make delicious homemade old-fashioned lemonade.  After searching quite a few recipes, I’ve come upon what we consider a perfect blend.

The secret lies in what’s called simple syrup.  It’s the sugary base to this classic drink and if you learn how to make the syrup you can make lemonade, substitute oranges and make orangeade or limes for limeade – you get the picture.

So here’s the basic recipe – switch out the citrus if you wish. 

Old-Fashioned Lemonade

1-cup water
1-cup sugar
Juice of 6 lemons
4 additional cups of cold water

Grab a saucepan and combine the sugar with the 1-cup of water.  Stir to mix, place over medium high heat and bring it to a boil, stirring frequently until all the sugar is completely dissolved.  Let it cool and refrigerate.  This is the simple syrup.  Now, add the lemon juice and mix well.  Stir in the additional 4 cups of water.  Serve over ice.

Yummy!

If you really need to cheer up make it GOURMET!

I always loved that saying.  So, let’s learn some fun ways to jazz up this refreshing favorite.  I experimented with all kinds of fruits and herbs and found several favorites – even one that turns lemonade into a strawberry “creamsicle.”

For each of these, you’ll need to start out with about 6 cups of lemonade – fresh made or frozen work well – the powdered stuff leaves at lot to be desired on my end – but if it works for you – go ahead, you just need a batch of lemonade.

Watermelon Cooler
Add to the lemonade batch:
1 cup of pureed and strained watermelon.  Garnish with a large melon triangle.

Berry Delicious Lemon-Creamsicle
Add to your lemonade batch:
1 16 ounce container of fresh strawberries or 2 pints of fresh raspberries, stemmed and pureed
½ cup of cream or half and half (milk can work also)
Garnish with a berry and a lemon slice

Mint Cooler
Add to the lemonade batch
½ cup of fresh washed mint packed.
Put the leaves into a pitcher and crush them gently (I used a wooden spoon) Pour lemonade over the leaves and let it stand for about 15 – 20 minutes to infuse with the flavors.  Strain out the leaves and garnish with new ones. 
Try with Basil for a really unique beverage.
 
Now, it wouldn’t be fair if I neglected to mention that you can rev up any of these with a splash of vodka  per glass.

So, forget your troubles with a lovely, refreshing glass of all-American lemonade – with a gourmet twist.

Live and Learn