Just a little bonus post for you here, because summer is beginning and I know some of us are gearing up for (or are in the midst of) sweltering summer heat. It’s a holiday weekend here, and I know many of us will break out the barbecue grills and dust off the outdoor furniture to celebrate appropriately. Some of us have pools which will open, and more than a few of us will lament eating cookies and cake all winter as we slide ourselves into swimwear which “could fit better, but it’s not so bad.”
Summer: cheers to you. Here’s to getting out of school for the summer, the familiar “thwip-thwip-thwip” of sprinklers in yards, the sweet sounds of teenagers yelling things from cars at each other. Here’s to feeling embarrassingly old in their presence until it dawns on me that when I was one of those teenagers, I had a car which cost $3,500 (worth every penny), a stereo system which sat on my floorboards, and no air conditioning.
Life is better now. I know how to make this lemonade. Back then, I only knew how to drink it.
This is my made-up recipe for a tart little summer drink I love. The hotter it is, the more refreshing this becomes. I say this all the time, but customize it how you like by adding either more lemons or more simple syrup to the mix. My only request is that you factor in ice cubes into the final equation; it’s why I make it strong. if it tastes strong to you, pour a little over a tall glass of ice, take a sip after a few minutes, and see how you feel about it.
If you’re in the mood for something a little more “adult,” this mixes great with gin or vodka, probably because you make it to your specifications. However, I’m no bartender, so I’m not even going to try to give you measurements for that. Use your favorite recipe and have a great time.
The Official A Periodic Table Citrusy Summer Lemonade
- 6-8 lemons, juiced and strained
- 1 orange, juiced and strained
- 1-2 limes, juiced and strained
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- 4-5 cups of cold water to fill your pitcher
- extra fruit (a lime, an orange, or a lemon) for garnish, totally optional
note: the orange and the limes are optional. I like the added dimensions of flavor they give my lemonade, but if you’re not fond of either or both, omit them and add an equal amount of additional lemons. The orange adds a light sweetness to balance out the tart lemon, and the flavor, to me, is almost undetectable. the limes at a crisp finish, and you can taste the flavor more than that of the orange, albeit in a backing-vocals sort of way.
Place the 2 cups sugar in a small saucepan with the 2 cups water and heat on low, stirring occasionally, until sugar has completely dissolved into the water. That’s simple syrup; it’s simple. Set it aside to cool.
While the sugar and water is turning itself into syrup, juice your fruit if you have not done so already. Pour the juice (taking care to make sure all the seeds are out) into a large pitcher.
After your syrup has cooled, add it to your juice and then add your water, testing it after the fourth cup to see how you like it. Feel free, as always, to add more or less water as you see fit. Alternately, you could add all but maybe a 1/2 cup of the simple syrup if you’re worried about sweetness, then add the water, and add in the remaining simple syrup as needed.
Garnish with thin slices of round fruit, either on the side of the glass or submerged into the ‘ade, as I like to do.
Done. Happy beginning of summer! By the way, it’s a (sometimes) overlooked fact that lemons go very nicely with chocolate, especially darker chocolate. That being said, this will go well with all those chocolate cookie recipes we have coming up.