Spring is officially here and summer is just around the corner. Time for a tall pitcher of cool, freshly made lemonade!
Last weekend, our neighborhood sponsored a yard sale. The kids ran a lemonade stand/bake sale to raise money for charity. It was a big success. The lemonade drew a lot of surprised comments. “The lemonade is really good!” The kids were proud to say, “We made it. It’s fresh squeezed!”
My recipe is very simple, but I couldn’t resist adding a twist to the basic lemon juice, sugar, and water recipe with a bit of lemon rind. We all voted and arrived at, not surprisingly, two variations: one slightly sweeter, preferred by the kids, and one less sweet, preferred by the adults.
- 1 cup sugar*
- 1 cup water*
- 1/2 cups sugar
- peeled rind from 1 lemon, yellow part only, no white peel**
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice from 4-5 lemons
- 3-4 cups water, still or sparkling
Make a simple syrup by bringing the 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water to a boil on the stovetop in a medium saucepan. As you heat the mixture, stir to completely dissolve the sugar. Let it boil for about 1-2 minutes then turn off the heat. Add the lemon rind and stir. Allow the syrup to cool to room temperature. Once the syrup is cool, strain it to remove the lemon rind.
In a pitcher, combine the lemon juice, sugar syrup, and your choice of water to taste. Make the lemonade a bit stronger than you would like so you can add ice cubes to your finished product.
*For less tart, more kid-friendly lemonade, use 1 1/2 cup sugar and 1 1/2 water.
**Adding the lemon peel to the lemonade gives it a sweet, floral aroma and taste. The white part of the lemon peel is bitter and best avoided. You can use a vegetable peeler to peel the lemon and remove the rind. Remove any white on the peel with a sharp knife.