Although lemonade is a perfectly good drink for all year long, I feel it is really best in Spring and Summer. The cold, refreshing sweet and tart drink quenches thirst like no other.
When I was little, my parents loved go to El Sombrero (still miss the salsa) in Commerce every weekend. My sister and I always had water to drink. On the table were packets of sugar and packets of lemon juice. We usually ended up making lemonade in our glasses.
Of course, lemonade can be purchased pre-made or in concentrate. Either are fast and easy. But, it is just as easy to make from scratch! All you need are lemons, sugar and water. I was a little short on lemons when I made this week’s batch, so I added a navel orange…delicious!
I know some people like a cold beer or an iced tea on a hot day, but for me it is an ice cold glass of lemonade that cools me off!
Now some folks will make homemade lemonade complicated, which is fine. For me, the point of lemonade is to be simple. I don’t worry with making a simple syrup or anything like that. I just do what I did back at El Sombrero, except for using a pitcher instead of a glass.
Here is my usual recipe (unless I am throwing in an orange):
1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice. The size and liquidity of your lemons will determine how many you need. I would say 6 or 7 medium sized lemons.
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons sugar. Start with just the cup. If the lemonade is too tart, add the 2 Tablespoons. Some lemons are more tart than others.
5 1/2 cups of water.
In a big pitcher, add your juice, 1 cup sugar and 5 1/2 cups water. Then stir real well until the sugar is dispersed and dissolved. Taste. Add a bit more sugar if needed.
I will pour this over a glass of ice and put the pitcher in the fridge to chill. If you are headed outside with the pitcher, you can cut down a little on water and put ice in the pitcher.
If you want to be fancy, add a lemon slice or a whole strawberry, float a few mint leaves, or add a sprig of rosemary to each glass.
This is best enjoyed outside on the porch or by a lake!