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What better day to celebrate in mid-August than National Lemonade Day! It’s the drink of summer, somehow, better than any fizzy pop or even cold beer (well maybe at 4pm). When life hands you lemons at this time of year, things can really look up!
Fresh-squeezed lemonade has the ring of home about it because it’s so easy to make, and so refreshing when it’s hot (I guess it’s also pretty healthy what with all that citrus!). My best lemonade memory is sitting aged 10 in my Aunt Molly’s garden with my family (it was 1975 and I was wearing flares), in Kimmeridge, Dorset, a tiny village set beside the sea on the south coast of England. IAunt Molly was in her late seventies, and her garden was lush with roses and lavender and apple trees. She liked to make a big glass jug of fresh-squeezed lemonade and serve it on summer days. It was a hot summer seaside afternoon, and I remember swinging my legs off the garden chair and being simply happy.
The charming child-manned roadside lemonade stand, however, is a thing of North America. I have a couple of entrepreneurial young friends on my street who have extended that franchise to a number of innovative offerings, including personally-signed tree paintings (I have two), and porridge in winter (the younger of the two was fired from this effort due to low sales).
The picture I have included today pretty much sums up for the beauty of both summer and childhood, and the eternal magic of cold lemonade. This is my friends Maddy and Phoebe, and the sign Maddy made to get those thirsty people over to their side of the road. And how could you refuse?!
I’m also including a recipe for homemade lemonade from Simply Recipes.com, though I must admit that these days I have been enjoying supermarket offerings that more than fill the bill, such as President’s Choice Sicilian Lemonade, and Santa Cruz Organic Lemonade.
Perfect Lemonade Recipe
- 1 cup sugar (can reduce to 3/4 cup)
- 1 cup water (for the simple syrup)
- 1 cup lemon juice
- 3 to 4 cups cold water (to dilute)
1 Make simple syrup by heating the sugar and water in a small saucepan until the sugar is dissolved completely.
2 While the sugar is dissolving, use a juicer to extract the juice from 4 to 6 lemons, enough for one cup of juice.
3 Add the juice and the sugar water to a pitcher. Add 3 to 4 cups of cold water, more or less to the desired strength. Refrigerate 30 to 40 minutes. If the lemonade is a little sweet for your taste, add a little more straight lemon juice to it.
Serve with ice, sliced lemons – then make more and sell at the curb.
Sit back, sip, and enjoy…