citrusy lemonade.

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.

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  • Reply Jen @ Juanita's Cocina May 25, 2012 at 6:48 am

    I have a 4 day weekend. Which means I have time to make some of this and have it ready for when you, Wee One, and Mr. Table get here for a righteous Texas Memorial Day celebration.

    There WILL be watermelon salsa.

    And dessert.

    And booze. IF we remember anything when it’s all over, we did something wrong.

    • Reply shannon May 30, 2012 at 4:16 pm

      Jen, we need to be neighbors. neighbors with giant front porches and comfy outdoor furniture and those outdoor ceiling fans made from wicker or whatever which circulate the air and somehow make the summer heat more tolerable and less “melt-your-face-off.”

      we would be the Best. Summer. Party-ers. Ever. the fun would never cease.

  • Reply Emma May 25, 2012 at 6:54 am

    Mmm! I made strawberry lemonade yesterday, and gussied it up nice with some tequila:)

    Also, mmm, lemon chocolate.

    • Reply shannon May 30, 2012 at 4:11 pm

      oh emma, i thought if anyone would be on the lemon-chocolate train, it would be you. you know your chocolate pairings. I’m sure you could totally school me with some others. 🙂

  • Reply Brianne May 25, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Emma! I have been thinking about making strawberry lemonade all week! Craziness.

    Have a great weekend, Shannon! I can’t wait to see how your sister’s birthday cake turns out!!

    • Reply shannon May 30, 2012 at 4:13 pm

      thanks brianne! i hope your weekend was fantastic. it’s hard for me imagine you NOT having a glorious one given your location…for whatever reason, i picture that part of the country to be an outdoor heaven from at least memorial day to labor day, if not beyond. 🙂
      that cake was magnificent, both in taste and in beauty, if i do say so myself. Best part? FROSTING. and i’m not even a frosting sort of girl – i don’t go crazy over it – but the combination of everything together? incredible. mind-altering. I would actually put that frosting on just about anything. it was exemplary. and i need to get on writing that post. 🙂

  • Reply Willow May 29, 2012 at 6:43 am

    whoa – I am absolutely going to have to try this! I used to make lemon-limeade as a kid, but the addition of orange is brilliant! Love citrus! 😀

    • Reply shannon May 30, 2012 at 8:45 am

      me too! we used to have lots of combinations of this drink as a kid, and i should say that sometimes, i grab all the citrus in the fridge and just see what happens. my grandma used to always add orange to her lemonade, which is where the idea began. i’m a citrus junkie too, believe me – especially in the summer.

  • Reply movita beaucoup May 29, 2012 at 6:45 am

    My summer vacation starts in two weeks. One final push to the year-end shows, and then I’m done with the chaos. This lemonade will be on my list of things to make when I begin my summer fun. Yippie!!

    • Reply shannon May 30, 2012 at 8:32 am

      i’m going to have a wee celebration for you here at the house when you get out of school: you deserve a breather for a few months before you get started on those 250 types of bread.

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