Sunday, June 3, 2012

By Popular Request (Strawberry Lemonade)

In addition to cookies at the yard sale, we also offered strawberry lemonade, raspberry limeade, and iced peppermint tea. The lemonade was by far the favorite of the day and I found myself running back and forth to the kitchen to refresh our supply, many times. The benefit of repetition is that I had lots of practice perfecting the recipe, which is handy, because now people keep asking for it. I apologize for doubling down on drink recipes, but 'tis the season.

Ready for summer
Not that I'm trying to throw my parents under the bus, but growing up, our lemonade was typically powdered. I think it was a symptom of the times, people just weren't paying as much attention to food. I don't think there's anything especially wrong with powdered, really, but it just can't compare to something made fresh. The increased time investment and mess are somewhat significant, but when you sip your freshly squeezed lemonade, you'll see why it was worth all the fuss.

Just a little fussy
The tangy, acid zing of this strawberry lemonade is a remarkable thirst quencher. Gorgeously pink, pleasingly sweet, and generously laced with the ripe, rapturous flavor of summery strawberries, it's perfect for a family picnic or lemonade stand on a day of soaring temperatures and blazing sun. It also goes together pretty easily, especially if you've prepared a syrup ahead of time.

Strawberries mean summer
Our strawberry lemonade recipe makes a great base template for variations, swapping out ingredients for new results. There's the above mentioned raspberry limeade, for one, but there's lots of room to tinker. For an extra touch of grace, you can try slipping an herb of choice into your syrup; basil, lavender, and rosemary are all handy options. You may also try substituting honey for syrup (warm slightly before adding, to ease the mixing), exchange sparkling water for still, or tip in some vodka, rum, or limoncello.

Still good without the booze
Strawberry lemonade

I like making this lemonade rustic and slightly chunky, full of bursting lemon bits and nibbly little bites of succulent strawberries. Then again, I like pulpy juices. Feel free to strain to your heart's content.

8 oz fresh, ripe strawberries (about 8-12 large berries)
1 c water, boiling
1 c sugar
1 c fresh lemon juice (about 5-6 lemons)
6 c water, chilled
2 c ice
Additional strawberries and lemon slices, to garnish (optional)

Wash and hull the strawberries, then puree in a food processor or blender to desired consistency.

One last longing look
Use a spatula to transfer the strawberry puree into a large pitcher.

Add the sugar to a small dish of boiling hot water and whisk quickly until the sugar dissolves completely and the syrup becomes clear. Add the simple syrup to the pitcher.

Simple syrup
Juice the lemons, adding the lemon juice to the pitcher, and stir to mix.

Thirsty work
Add the ice and cold water, and stir until thoroughly incorporated and cool to the touch. Serve immediately or chill for later. Serves about 8.



Unknown said...

Your photo with the lemonade pitcher looks like a Dutch still life. Very nice.

Jp1083 said...

Thanks! The Dutch masters are good company to be in. :)

Michael @ BlueberryChuckle said...

Looks absolutely delicious guys! And I have like three cups of strawberries to go through before they go bad - Strawberry Lemonade it it is!

Jp1083 said...

Thanks Michael! You should let us know how it works out for you. :)