There's something about lemonade that is so refreshing, especially on a spring or summer day. However, spring has come a little early for us (I'm loving the 70 degree weather in March), so I think that's more than enough reason to break out some lemonade!
Apparently, this recipe uses an Amish technique to mash the lemons and sugar together so the sugar dissolves and the lemon oil is released from the rind. Whatever the secret is, it makes for very flavorful and tasty lemonade.
I brought this lemonade syrup (I followed the recipe below but didn't add the water right away) to a friend's house so we could make our own drinks (and our own pretzels!). It was a lot of fun...and my husband was also very happy that I brought home leftovers of everything at the end of the night. You could also add sparkling water instead of regular water (although I prefer regular) for sparkling lemonade or add in extra fruits like strawberries for a little different flavor. Feel free to use more or less sugar, depending on your preference (I like my lemonade a little tarter so I only used 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups of sugar).
Taken from: Cook's Illustrated via Ezra Pound Cake
Makes about 1 1/2 quarts (6 to 8 servings)
- 10 to 12 lemons, scrubbed under warm water and patted dry (2 to 2 1/4 cups lemon juice)
- 1 1/4 cups sugar (add more to taste, up to 2 1/4 cups total if you like it really sweet)
- 5 cups cold water
- Slice the lemons lengthwise (I sliced each lemon into about 8 pieces), and toss them into a large bowl. Add the sugar.
- Grab a potato masher or wooden spoon (I used a pastry blender and a wooden spoon), and mash the lemons and sugar together until the sugar is dissolved and the juice is syrupy, about 4 minutes.
- Place a sieve over a medium bowl, and pour half of the lemon slices and syrup through the sieve. (Press the lemon peels to release as much liquid as possible.)
- Trash the solids left in the sieve, and transfer the liquid to your serving pitcher.
- Repeat the process with the remaining lemon slices and syrup.
- Stir in the water until blended. Take a sip, and stir in more sugar, if necessary. Chill well, and stir to blend before serving.