Weekend activities are going to include plenty of cold beverages this summer. Why not ditch the sodas and get creative with some gourmet lemonade?
Who doesn’t love going to a restaurant and being able to order a strawberry lemonade or maybe a watermelon lemonade? Well, they’re even better at home with real lemon juice and freshly pureed fruit.
Serve them in glasses (or mason jars for a country feel) and keep them cold with frozen fruit instead of ice cubes.
• (you choose the fruit)
• 1/2 cup lemon juice
• 1 cup sugar (or 3/4 cup honey)
• 1 cup water
• 2 cups fresh fruit, pureed (strained to remove seeds and chunks)
• 3-4 cups cold water and ice or frozen fruit
Squeeze several lemons to get enough lemon juice and add to a jug. Next, take whatever fruit you are flavoring your lemonade with and puree it in a food processor or blender. Strain the puree to remove seeds and add this to the jug.
Now add water and sweetener until it's exactly how you like it. Add ice or frozen fruit to serve.
Watermelon, strawberry, blueberry, cranberry (add cranberry juice and frozen cranberries), kiwi, mango, peach, raspberry and blackberry.
To make it even more interesting, chiffonade some basil and add it right to your lemonade for a hint of basil. You can adjust the sweetness to make it work better for mixed drinks as well.
To serve them in mason jars, punch a hole in wax paper for the straw. Tighten the ring and insert straw for a homemade to-go cup. Once you’re done with cute lemonade jars you can reuse them for your jam canning.
Anne Boulley is a local chef and culinary instructor with a passion for artisan foods. Her cooking classes and services are offered via her website, www.thegourmetguide.com.