Monday, June 13, 2011
A Tangy Way to Beat the Heat
There are benefits to sorting through old stuff. Since sorting through old stuff is one of my least favorite pastimes, that's a good thing. One of the benefits is that you sometimes find something that you missed before.
June of 1999 was really, really busy. Not a lot of time to look through magazines, so I set some aside. Given that the following month was the worst of my life I guess its not too surprising that I never got back to looking through them. Then they got buried below the desk in the corner of the bedroom in a box of other stuff I didn't have the energy to deal with. It's only taken 12 years but the good news is that most of that stuff went into the recycle container. Yay for getting rid of useless stuff!
One of the magazines that I did keep to look at NOW was the June 1999 Bon Appetit magazine. It has a gorgeous fresh apricot tart on the cover...you may see my version of that here in the future...and near the middle there is a simple recipe for Homemade Lemonade. According to the article lemonade was invented in 1620 in Paris (who knew?) and lemonade is "still one of the most popular drinks of summertime."
It was warm enough today to think about making lemonade and I had a couple of lemons and a lime where were barely enough to make two servings, but I did it anyway. I heartily recommend that you have at least 6 or 8 fruits on hand because this is a seriously delicious drink. It's a proportional thing so the amount of citrus juice determines how much lemonade (or in my case Lemon-Limeade) you'll have to drink.
1 quart water
1 quart sugar
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
In a saucepan combine the 1 quart water and 1 quart sugar (for my version I combined 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar because I knew I didn't need a quart of the sugar syrup). Stir the mixture until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil, remove from the heat and chill.
When you are ready to make the lemonade, juice some lemons and measure the juice (for my version I combined the juice of one lime and one and a half lemons, then sliced the remaining half of the lemon to go in the pitcher). Have the chilled sugar syrup and cold water ready, too.
Into a pitcher place: 1 part of the sugar syrup (also called simple sugar or simple syrup), 1 part lemon juice and 3 parts water. If you are willing to strain the mixture as you pour it over ice, you can also add the zest grated from one or two of the lemons...it adds a nice tang! If you look closely at my photos you'll see that I didn't strain mine...and I should have...so you get the good advice.
Chill the mixture. When cold, pour it into glassed filled with ice cubes. Garnish with the sliced lemons.
For variation you can add a splash of vodka for an adult beverage, or skip the vodka and throw in a few fresh raspberries for both color and flavor. Most of all, enjoy while the lemonade is icy cold, especially if the day is a hot one.