Lemonade

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Lemonade is a drink that I associate with summer and the record-setting 88F/31C weather we saw here in Los Angeles last week was enough to spark my taste for it. Not to mention the fact that my lemon tree is practically falling over under the weight of a tremendous number of lemons and making lemonade is a good way to use up a few of them.

The problem with lemonade is the sugar. Even if your lemon juice is warm, it is a challenging task to dissolve the right amount of sugar into it. There will almost always be a grainy layer of sugar at the bottom of the pitcher, a paste that never gets incorporated. The trick is to make symple syrup to sweeten your lemonade. A simple syrup is water with sugar, usually an equal amount, dissolved in it. The syrup ensures tht no sugar will go unabsorbed in your drink, allowing you to achieve the perfect sweetness.

One other, though smaller, problem with lemonade is that putting ice into the pitcher dilutes it. This problem, since the sugar was a syrup, can be solved either by adding cold water to the juice or by simply refrigerating until cold, without adding extra ice to the pitcher.

Lemonade is very much a matter of taste. Sometimes I want something tart, while other times I want something quite sweet. Ths amount of sugar here is in between, though a bit on the sweet side. Don’t feel bound to it. Use more or less, according to your tastes.

Lemonade

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups lemon juice (about 8 lemons)

5 cups cold water

In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, cooking until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat.
Pour lemon juice into a 2-quart or larger pitcher. Add cold water. Add about 1 cup sugar syrup, to taste, and stir to incorporate. Chill until cold and ready to serve.
Makes 6 servings.

For the sugar-rimmed glasses: Sprinkle 1-2 tbsp sugar on a small plate. Run a wedge of lemon around the rim of your glass and dip glass into sugar. Fill with lemonade.

Variations:
Extra lemony – Add 1-2 tsp lemon zest to the sugar/water mixture as you make the syrup.
Hint of vanilla – Stir 1/2 tsp vanilla into the syrup when you remove it from the heat.

20 comments

  1. Oh!!!
    This is PERFECT! for the weather we have been having here!!! YAY!!!

    Thanks ;)

    BTW is it ok to use sparkling water?

  2. Sure, Clare. Sparkling water sounds like it would be delicious!

  3. I do make it with simple syrup, but sometimes when I’m making just one glass I like to stir the sugar in and drink it with a straw–the sugar at the bottom is slushy but still partly solid, and I move the straw around prospecting for sugar. Probably a personal taste!

  4. You betcha I voted for you! Every recipe I’ve ever used from your blog has gotten rave reviews at our convent… from soups to scones to desserts. You rule!

  5. Love the pitcher Nic! And thanks for the sugar syrup tip, I never thought of that – I suspect it’d work great for iced tea too – even though both of these things is a bit to cold to contemplate around here now… But come summer, ah!:-)

  6. You have my BOB vote.
    Enjoy the Kudos. You deserve them.

    Tootles,

    Anni

  7. It’s refreshing enough, just looking at your lemonade ;p

  8. It looks so good! I wish I had a lemon tree here. I am going to have to make this tomorrow. It has been really warm here to and this sounds delish!

  9. Congratulations and good luck on the Best of Blogs. I feel really honored to be in the finals with so many great blogs.

  10. We’re a long way from summer here in Canada, but I will most definitely put this recipe aside for the dog days of July.

    Thank you!

  11. i WILL definitely vote for you!

    btw, adding vanilla do you mean vanilla essence? vanilla extract?
    both are the same?

    Cannes

  12. I cannot believe you’ve been having 88 degree weather in January. Oh wait, I grew up in LA. I can.

    Good luck with it. This lemonade looks scrumptious, Nic.

  13. Hooray for a little winter pick me up. (actually it is in the 100′s here so I cant complain THAT much). I just went to the market and got a bunch of fresh lemons so I will go try it out right now. Fabu picture as well :)

  14. Hi Nic – I thought I might be too late but am glad that I could vote for you. Your recipes are wonderful and I love your unpretentious writing.

    I love adding some honey as well as sugar syrup when I make lemonade – your picture is really lovely!

  15. Thanks for the basic recipe. I wasn’t sure about the ratio of water to sugar. I’m planning on doubling this and keeping it refrigerated(the simple syrup with the lemon juice added)for lemonade, but also as the base in fruit smoothies, as I don’t like adding juice(often too much sugar)and I’m not crazy about using yogurt). I also suggest the folks try raw sugar(also called turbinado sugar). It’s not as refined as granulated, you can use less, and it has a slightly more nutritional value than refined white sugar. I’ve found it sold in markets as “Sugar in the Raw” in 2lb. boxes. I like your writing, and will vote for you.

    Thanks again. I’m not a blogger yet, but I’m joining!
    geri

  16. For the kind of weather we have here in Brazil it is the perfect kind of juice ever… tks really very much!

    And I love it!! This web site and you guys, rulesss!!!

    thnks!

  17. Zdraste! Vot takoi vot u vas horoshiy sait. Spasibki.

  18. Thank you for that post!

  19. This is a great WordPress Blog. What theme are you using?

  20. Interesting post and I really like your take on the issue. I now have a clear idea on what this matter is all about. Thank you so much.

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