Whenever I'm driving along and see kids sitting at the end of a driveway under their umbrellas selling lemonade in the summer, I always stop. It seems to be such a quintessential way for kids to earn a few extra pennies and pass a few hours as well during the hot days of summer. It's usually a powdered mix lemonade, but I convince myself that it is refreshing nonetheless.
Today definitely felt like lemonade! It was quite warm in these 'here parts' and I wasn't out and around looking for lemonade stands. Remember how I said yesterday that my car is going negative on the AC? So I decided to make my own refreshment.
In California, you can almost literally get lemons for a dime a dozen, but since I live in the Great NW, I'm happy to find them at Trader Joe's for a buck 29 – there's about 6 or 7 lemons per bag. I squeezed about 10 today.
There's nothing wrong with simply dissolving some sugar in the juice, and making lemonade that way. It's probably a bit quicker. But I like to make a Lemon Syrup. Not only does it intensify the lemon flavor, but you can also hide the syrup in the fridge and just make one refreshing glass at a time for yourself without your offspring or husband even being aware. Of course, they might ask why all the lemon rinds are in the compost bin, but …. Well, I'm sure you can come up with some story to throw them off the scent!
So melt some sugar in a bit of water with a little lemon rind to enhance the flavor.
Add the juice to the syrup and let it simmer for just a bit. Then pour it into a container to cool. Cover it with a paper towel or something to keep the summer flies and any other airborne creature out. If those creatures are like me, they will be on that Lemon Syrup like a chicken on a junebug! (That's the Southern side of me showing.)
If you are serving a group, pour the syrup into a pitcher that holds about 2 quarts and finish it off with about an equal amount of still OR sparkling water, or just a wee bit more than equal amount. If you are hiding the syrup for yourself and you find yourself hankering for refreshment, pour your glass about half-full, then finish off with whichever water you choose. I'm sure you'd never find Homemade 'Sparkling' Lemonade at a roadside stand, but it shouldn't keep you from treating yourself on a warm summer afternoon.
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