I’ve been craving lemonade for a while now, and I’m a little bummed I never got around to it when I had hot dogs and macaroni salad the other night. These things scream summer and when the weather warms up, which it’s finally starting to do in Humboldt, you need to jump on the summer food bandwagon and enjoy them.
Lemonade is available in all kinds of forms. I won’t judge if you use the powder. I myself have a little Country Time hiding in my pantry for when I want a single glass. It also comes in frozen concentrate form, and then it’s available mixed with all kinds of flavors, and it’s available ready made. All kinds of lemonade out there. Problem is they sort of taste, artificial. There’s probably only one or two products that don’t use high fructose corn syrup and use real lemon juice, but they’re crazy expensive, so the obvious solution is to make your own. from scratch. with freshly squeezed lemons.
You can taste the difference when fresh lemons are used, along with plain old white sugar. Fresh lemonade is easy to make and easy to customize using different fresh fruits or juices or herbs like basil or mint. Fresh ginger seems to be a popular addition as well, but until my taste buds recognize it as ginger and not a bar a soap, that option is off the table. Today’s lemonade is actually a lemon-limeade using half lemons and half limes, and it’s awesome.
When making lemonade, it’s ok for your finished product to look more like water and less like the chemically colored lemonade you find in the stores. This is what real lemonade looks like.
If you’re going to be making a lot of lemonade, invest in some sort of inexpensive juicer, you’re hands will thank you. If you don’t want to buy a juicer and go he-man on the citrus, then try rolling the fruit on the cutting board before you juice it, and grab a fork to twist around and help release the juices. Just don’t go he-man with the fork hand because you will stab the hand that juices.
You could also go Hot Dog on a Stick on your lemonade and muddle everything together in a giant container, possibly with mint?, without the ridiculous hat, leaving everything in there when adding the simple syrup and water.
Man, I really want a corn dog now.
If you’re not 100% on board with lemonade, shame on you, try using some to make an Arnold Palmer, which is half iced tea, half lemonade, it has a little bit of sweetness and somehow makes the iced tea flavor a little stronger.
You can also replace the water with some sparkling water for a fizzy drink that’s a nice alternative to soda.
And the last tip, double this recipe to make a gallon and take it to a BBQ with some friends, and that macaroni and/or potato salad so you can make even better friends.
1 c lemon juice or for lemon-limeade 1/2 c of each
3/4 – 1 c sugar, depending on how sweet you like lemonade
Make a simple syrup by bringing 1/2 c water and the sugar to a boil while stirring so the sugar dissolves. Set aside and let it cool. Mix the citrus juice and the simple syrup in large container, adding enough cold water to make 2 quarts.
Drink it all, and repeat. for the rest of the summer. and probably part of the fall too.