How to Make Sparkling Summer Lemonade
For some reason I’m working on the recipe posts instead of the party recap (greek(ish) potato salad over a Soup Or Salad today), but really without great pictures a party recap isn’t very fun. And my photos? Not so awesome. We normally serve beer, wine and water at parties with something fun for the kids. Last year I made ginger lemonade by simmering fresh ginger in lemon juice and adding it to store bought lemonade. This year, what with having an overabundant lemon tree in the back yard, I thought I would take a crack at homemade lemonade, which despite my advanced age, I had never attempted.
I decided to juice lemons and make simple syrup and wing it. The limiting factor in my recipe was the lemon juice. I hate my juicer. Hate it. I only juiced 4 cups of lemon juice before I wanted to throw it out the window. I also didn’t count the lemons. 4 cups took maybe 20 lemons. But 4 cups makes a lot of lemonade. If you just want to make a little to drink in the afternoon, juice 3 lemons and just use the ratio.
Serving suggestions: in glasses or mason jars, by the pitcher or the bucket. Add frozen sliced lemons, ice or frozen lemonade to keep it cold when serving in bulk. A fun trick is to slice a lemon and poke a straw through it. Or, thread a straw through a lemon and then freeze to keep the drink cold and look cute at the same time. (Also a great idea for sangria. Maybe with oranges.)
makes 5 quarts
4 cups sugar
4 cups water
4 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
12 cups sparkling water (mineral, plain or club soda works just fine)
- Make simple syrup by combining sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring periodically until sugar is completely dissolved. Let cool and set aside. (This can be done the night before and kept the fridge in a clean container with a lid. Any extra will keep for about a week. You can use it to sweeten tea or coffee or just give it to visiting neighbor children and send them home.)
- Juice lemons (I recommend an electric juicer. Just not the crappy one I have)
- In serving container or pitcher, combine lemon juice, simple syrup and sparkling water in the ratio of 1:1:3. So, for 4 cups of lemon juice, add 4 cups of simple syrup and 12 cups of sparkling water.
- Add ice and/or frozen sliced lemons and serve.
- If you just want to prep all the ingredients in advance and make it by the glass, I’ve found a shot glass or jigger works well. Just do 1:1:3 over ice. Delicious.