Wednesday, July 10, 2013

freshly squeezed lemonade

Have you ever had a cold in the summertime? Thanks to mom (I've got to rub it in), I am currently experiencing my first summer cough and cold. 

It's wonderful.

When the weather is 25, I'm in the midst of a sweating fever. When it's raining, I'm in the house freezing under a pile of blankets. And while all my instincts keep telling me to eat soup and drink hot liquids, I just can't. 

I won't. It's summer. The fever's bad enough without also having to endure the heat of outside with a mug of hot lemon juice and honey in my hands.

That's when I decided to make lemonade. That's got the benefits of hot water with lemon and honey, right?

Plus mom gave me? lent me? her super amazing juicer so why not put it to good use?

You don't necessarily have to own a juicer, but it helps if you drink a lot of juice. I do have one of those glass hand reamers that will definitely do the job if you're a casual citrus drinker. But now that we're both sick, we've been going through a lot of lemons and I really couldn't imagine juicing them all by hand. That said, the effort is still totally worth it (hey, there's still some effort for me! I've got to cut up all the lemons and clean the machine's parts after!). There's just something that makes freshly squeezed juice so much better than store-bought. I don't know what it is, but you really can taste the difference. Plus there's pulp. Mmmm pulp...

makes about 2 1/2 L

1 3/4 cups of white sugar
1 1/2 cups lemon juice
8 cups of water

To make things even easier, I boil water in my tea kettle and use that to make a simple syrup instead of boiling it in a pot on the stove. It IS summer, after all, and I don't really want to turn the stove on unless I have to.

Once the water's boiled, add 1 cup of the boiling water to the sugar and stir until dissolved to make the simple syrup. If it doesn't all dissolve, you can add more water if you want, just keep track of the amount you use. I don't wait for this to cool, but you can.

To a pitcher, add the lemon juice, the 7 remaining cups of water, and the simple syrup. Enjoy right now (it'll be about room temperature if you didn't cool the syrup) or cool in the fridge and enjoy once sufficiently chilled for your tastes.

{note} To make this more cough-friendly, I like to substitute the white sugar for honey. In my sicky mix, I only use about a cup of honey which produces a very tart but very accurate representation of what I usually drink for a sore throat (hot water, lemon juice, and a teaspoon or two of honey).

{interesting} I've also made a sugar-free version using equal amounts of Splenda in place of the white sugar. You don't have to go through the motions of boiling water for this version, just dump everything together and mix. Just be aware that it takes a couple hours of stewing for the Splenda to sweeten the lemonade appropriately.

{good to know} I usually grab about 6 lemons and juice them all at once. This nets me about 2 1/2 - 3 cups of lemon juice. So 6 lemons will make about two pitchers of lemonade.

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