Man, oh man. I am one happy camper. I am sitting here typing this at my kitchen peninsula and eating a snack and drinking the Strawberry Lemonade you see in this picture. Although my beverage is not in my favorite tall glasses from World Market but instead is in a plastic cup we brought home from a restaurant last February when we took a vacation to the water park. There is a picture of a dog on it wearing a spotted party hat and it is making a water ring on the counter dangerously close to the cookbook I was reading. The cookbook is The Joy of Cheesecake and I was trying to choose a recipe to experiment with for Father’s Day. But anyway….
The title of this post is how I was going to start explaining this recipe to you and then a thought kind of occurred to me: I use those adjectives a lot. I bet I say something along those lines about almost every recipe. And truthfully, I hear the gentle, teasing voice of my very good friend (Yes, it is you, Dede!) every time I say the word fabulous (which means you are on my mind a lot!). But in this case, it works. How else am I supposed to convey to you the absolutely refreshing, clean, heavenly drink that is this lemonade? Delightful? Crisp and sweet, yet tangy? Addictive-because the four of us (Lane didn’t participate) chugged an entire pitcher in a less than an hour? I am at a loss. When I set out to create this, I honestly didn’t think it would be very successful. Or nearly this good! I figured it would take me forever to figure out the right combination, but thankfully, it didn’t. I have tweaked and adjusted and poked at the ingredients until I got what I am quite certain is going to be your new favorite summer drink! It certainly is at our house.
This lemonade is made with simple syrup, something I always have in my fridge. I have mentioned it before in a previous post or two but it is definitely worth mentioning again. Please do not let that extra step deter you from making this! The flavor is so quintessentially summer, you won’t want to stop drinking it! Sipping it while swinging in a hammock is recommended but not essential. Truly fabulous!
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Straining the strawberry puree is an optional, but I think necessary, step. It is the most labor intensive part of the whole recipe. Except maybe cleaning the strainer.
3 c quartered and hulled strawberries
1/2 c sugar
2 c cold water
Puree above ingredients in a blender and strain into a large pitcher through a fine mesh strainer.
1 1/4 c freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 4-5 lemons)
1 c simple syrup, recipe below
3 c cold water
Mix everything together and taste. Add another cup or two of water if the mixture is too thick. Serve cold over ice.
Hint: A simple, inexpensive hand reamer will make it much easier to juice the lemons!
This is barely a recipe but I will post it anyway. This will last nearly indefinitely in your fridge so make a big batch and use it for everything! I use it mainly for sweetening iced tea but it can be added to anything you want to sweeten without the fuss of trying to dissolve sugar in it. Mix it into drinks, drizzle it over fresh fruit, brush it on the layers of a cake to keep it moist-endless possibilities!
3 c water
3 c sugar
Mix in a small saucepan and bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar. Cool and store in the fridge. You can use any amount of sugar and water as long as it is equal parts.