There are two beverages that scream “SUMMER!” to me: Sweet Tea and Limeade/Lemonade. There’s nothing better for a day in the sun, or in the house for that matter. That sweet, tart, sparkly taste is all I need to feel the stress roll off of me like water off a duck’s back.
Obviously, you can buy lemonade and limeade (and sweet tea) at the store. Pre-made bottles of the stuff, little frozen cans of slush to mix with water, or packets of powder that are supposed to somehow miraculously mimic nature. But if you want true, classic great taste, there’s only one way to go about it: make it yourself. And here’s how you do just that:
3 cups water
3 cups sugar
3 cups lime or lemon juice (fresh)
3 quarts water
1-2 lemons sliced thinly
The first step is to make a simply syrup – just sugar and water. Heating the water makes it easier to dissolve the sugar. The formula for simple syrup is easy – one cup of water to one cup of sugar. So…
Heat 3 cups of water in saucepan. When it’s near to boiling, add sugar and stir to dissolve.
When sugar is thoroughly dissolved, remove syrup from heat and let cool.
Juice limes (LOTS of limes) or lemons – about 6 lemons per cup.
If desired, you can strain the resulting juice through a fine strainer to remove pulp. If you do so, remember to mash the pulp in the strainer, using a metal spoon. You want to get every last drop of juice that you can.
When the simple syrup has cooled, add it and the lime/lemon juice to 3 quarts of water (or thereabouts).
Slice one or more limes or lemons very thinly, adding most of the slices to your serving pitcher and reserving one or two for each glass served.
I find that the best limeade and lemonade is made with bottled water – preferably distilled (which contains no minerals or other additives). If I use a gallon bottle, I use three cups of it to make the simple syrup. I then pour several cups into a reserve container. Once I’ve added the syrup and the juice, I can return some of the reserve until I have a full gallon.
The recipes for lemonade vary somewhat as far as how much lemon juice and sugar to use. However, in general, all recipes call for equal or near-equal amounts of sugar and lemon juice. If you increase or decrease one, remember to do the same to the other.
Personally, I prefer limeade, but the measurements are the same, so try both!
Here’s hoping this recipe adds to your summer fun. And don’t forget:
Play with your food!
Did you like this recipe? What recipes would you like to learn? Leave me a comment and tell me your thoughts! (And don’t forget to LIKE this post!) Share it using the tiles below.