Saturday, June 29

THE PERFECT SUMMERTIME LEMONADE

We've been home from Italy only a few weeks and I am already having Lemon gelato withdrawals. I have searched in vain at our local grocery stores for a close substitute and to my disappointment I have found nothing even remotely similar.
In desperation for that tart kick that I love so much, I have given up and decided to make my favorite Summertime drink instead... Homemade Lemonade. I must admit I am a bit of a lemonade snob, I don't like sweet lemonade and I have difficulty finding a commercial lemonade that suits my taste. Not all lemons are created equal, some are more tart than others. Being  able to get that perfect blend of sweet and sour doesn't take special talent just practice and a tongue for taste! It's actually much easier than you might think. This lemonade recipe is filled with all the tangy goodness lemons have to offer and slightly sweet enough to keep the kids happy. It not only quenches my families Summer thirst but satisfies 'MY' lemon craving as well. Refreshing and delicious, this recipe for homemade Lemonade is ridiculously easy to make and turns out perfect every time. Promise. I pinkie swear!


The secret to perfect lemonade is to start by making a simple sugar syrup. Dissolving the sugar in hot water effectively disperses the sugar in the lemonade, instead of having it sink to the bottom of your pitcher. 

THE PERFECT SUMMERTIME LEMONADE

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • lemon zest from lemons used
  • 4 cups cold water
  • Lemon slices; optional
  • Mint sprigs; optional 

WHAT TO DO
  • Add 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar and lemon zest* to small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, until sugar dissolves completely. Let cool and refrigerate. This is the simple syrup.
  • When you are ready to serve, remove zest from the simple syrup and mix well with the lemon juice - strained or not, as you like - and stir well. Add 4 cups cold water and mix. Pour into a large jug or pitcher, adding thin lemon slices if you'd like, or garnish with mint sprigs.
  • Make sure to taste and adjust lemon juice or sugar for just that right mix. You can increase the amounts of this recipe proportionately, depending on the amount of lemonade you want.

*Use a knife to remove lemon zest from lemons in large pieces. Make sure NOT to remove the pith as well, the white part of the peel, it can be bitter. 

I love this lemonade! I think the oils from the zest just round out the flavor really well. I always use more lemon juice because I like my lemonade tart. This is a great guide to start with. What most people don't realize is that all lemons differ in tartness and strength of flavor. Honestly it doesn't really matter which recipe you choose, they all need some tweaking. It is good to use this as a starting point, and then alter based on your taste preference.


I do believe I am going to get out my simple hand-cranked Doniver ice cream freezer, pour in my lemonade and make my own private batch of gelato! If you have Summer and Sunshine on your mind as well, make an ice cold pitcher of Lemonade....you'll be glad ya did!


ENJOY!
~THE DOMESTIC CURATOR~
RONDA

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