Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Perfect Antidote to Summer Heat

I've been on a bit of a lemonade kick recently.  I gave up soda (for the most part) a couple of years ago, so lemonade is becoming my go-to drink when I want something more exciting than water--plus, it's the quintessential summertime drink.

I keep everything I need for it on hand, so it's a cinch to whip up whenever I'm in the mood.  Like now. 

Here's what you need: lemon juice (confession, I use bottled.  It's just easier), simple syrup (recipe follows), and water.  I like sparkling water--the little tingle it leaves on my tongue makes it just that much more refreshing. 

Here's what you do:  Mix equal parts simple syrup (recipe follows) and lemon juice in a glass--for a decently sized glass, (think something in the neighborhood of a pint glass), 2-3 tablespoons of each.  Add ice and top of with sparkling water (or tap, if that's all you have).  Stir, taste, and adjust lemon juice & simple syrup if necessary. 

Enjoy the taste of summer...

If you're making lemonade for a crowd, use these proportions instead:

1 cup of lemon juice,
1 cup of simple syrup (made with 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water),
Top off with 3-4 cups of sparkling or tap water, depending on desired strength. 

Simple Syrup:

It's really simple.  You can buy it in the baking aisle sometimes, but honestly, why bother?  Just heat equal parts white sugar and water in a sauce pan until the sugar is dissolved.  Cool to room temperature, and store in a glass jar in the fridge.  I keep mine in a cleaned out peanut butter jar--it holds about 1 1/2 cups of simple syrup.  It's useful to have on hand for lemonade (or limeade), or making iced coffee and iced tea, all those good summer things...

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