After my recent visit to the dentist (and her listing off all the acidic drinks that are bad for my teeth… soda, tea, juices, lemonade… wait, lemonade?! I want some!) I realized there was one thing missing from my life. Lemonade. And, even though my dentist had told me it was bad for your teeth, well… she was the one who had put the thought in my head! I couldn’t stop it now!
So, I went on my search for the perfect lemonade. And boy, did I find it!
- 1 cup sugar (can reduce to 3/4 cup)
- 1 cup water (for the simple syrup)
- 1 cup lemon juice
- 3 to 4 cups cold water (to dilute)
- Make simple syrup by heating the sugar and water in a small saucepan until the sugar is dissolved completely.
- While the sugar is dissolving, use a juicer to extract the juice from 4 to 6 lemons, enough for one cup of juice.
- Add the juice and the sugar water to a pitcher. Add 3 to 4 cups of cold water, more or less to the desired strength. Refrigerate 30 to 40 minutes. If the lemonade is a little sweet for your taste, add a little more straight lemon juice to it.
You know what the real secret to lemonade is? Making simple syrup. Don’t just pour in sugar. Boil your water and sugar together, so it’s perfectly dissolved. :) For my batch, I used 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, just under a cup of lemon juice, and 3 cups of cold water to dilute.
It wasn’t a huge batch, but since I was hand squeezing all my lemons I didn’t get quite as much juice as I was expecting. (I bought a 2 lb bag of lemons, and used all but 3 of them… my hands just got too tired!) When I was at the store, I was going to buy a tool to help me, but there was only one option and I just didn’t like it. I told myself squeezing the lemons by hand wouldn’t be difficult …ha ha ha!
Using a fork did help me, considerably! After I’d cut the lemons in half, I stuck the fork in and twisted it with my right hand, while squeezing the lemon and twisting it in the opposite direction with my left hand. Neat little trick, I wish I remembered where I’d read that, so I could share it!
After squeezing all my lemons, I froze them for future projects. (Really, what can’t a lemon do?!) Taking my juice, I strained all the seeds out, added it to my pitcher (which already contained the sugar water I’d been preparing while squeezing lemons)(yes, I know I keep going on about squeezing the lemons, but hey, it took an awful long time for poor little me – I have no muscles!), threw in 3 cups of tap water, and I was done!
What have I learned?
- I need a lemon juicer. (Where can I get a pretty one??)
- I need a prettier pitcher. I think I need a southern glass one. Definitely going on my shopping list!
A great drink for a 4th of July get together, I’ll have more ideas for you to spruce up your presentation on the 30th and 3rd!