It’s almost officially summer. Shh… But, don’t tell Atlanta. Hotlanta has been acting like it was summer for the past couple of months; it’s been blazin’ hot outside! The best way to cool off is with a tall glass of lemonade! Or, a short mason jar full. LOL. When I dropped a glass off at my sister’s house, she told me that it tasted like the $5 lemonade at Cheesecake Factory. It sounds like I need to set up a little neighborhood stand so that I can save up for an end of the summer vacation!
Below is the recipe that I halved; it serves 3. Want the full version that serves 6 and don’t want to do the math? Head on over to the Food Network to get the recipe here.
Strawberry Lemonade (serves 3; from the Food Network)
For the lemon syrup:
zest of 1/2 lemon in strips
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
For the strawberry syrup:
1 cup chopped strawberries (stems removed)
1/4 cup sugar
For the remainder of the lemonade:
1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (from 5-6 large lemons)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold water
1. To make the lemon syrup, place the lemon zest (from 1/2 lemon), sugar (3/4 cup), and water (3/4) in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Stir the mixture continuously so that it doesn’t burn. Once the sugar dissolves, remove the saucepan from the heat and let it cool until it reaches room temperature.
2. While the lemon syrup is cooling, prepare the strawberry syrup. Place the chopped strawberries (1 cup) and the rest of the sugar (1/4 cup) in a bowl or measuring cup with spout. Mix the strawberries and sugar with a spoon so that they are well coated. Keep the mixture on the counter for about 45 minutes. This is the time it will take for the sugar to completely dissolve, creating a nice syrup. Separate the strawberries from the syrup, either by pouring the syrup into a cup or scooping the strawberries out. But, don’t throw out the strawberries! You are going to use them in the final step. Also, they taste delicious on their own!
3. Now’s the time to actually make the lemonade. LOL. Reach in your cupboard and pull out a pretty glass pitcher. Place the lemon juice (1 cup), lemon syrup (see step #1), salt (1/8 teaspoon), and cold water (1 cup) in the pitcher. Mix it well with a ladle until it is completely combined.
3. Grab 3 glasses or mason jars from the shelf. Place 1 tablespoon of strawberry syrup (see step #2) in each glass. Top off the syrup with ice. The more the better, in my opinion! I like my beverages ice cold. Fill each of the glasses with lemonade. Garnish each glass with some of the chopped strawberries you used to make the sugar. Carry the glasses out to the front porch or deck, and enjoy!
Got a favorite summertime beverage? Tell me about it in the comments below!