Summer is here. The sun is out. And all I want is an drink in my hand. Preferably fruity. Preferably sour. Preferably ice ice cold.
When walking round Richmond today we stopped off at a small farmers market for brownies and lemonade. The perfect Sunday afternoon treat. The sun has been so swelteringly hot that I couldn’t resist the allure of homemade ice cold lemonade. It was tart and cooling. The perfect amount of sour meets sweet. The only problem was there wasn’t enough of it! My £1.50 only got me so far. On the way home all I could think about was that homemade lemonade and I wanted to make some myself. But I wanted to add sweetness with fruit, and up the lemon anti big time.
Homemade lemonade is so simple to make. It consists of 4 ingredients: water, sugar, lemons and strawberries.
We start off with a simple syrup. Simple is as simple says. Equal measures of sugar and water get poured into a pan and lemon zest gets added in. We wait patiently till it dissolves and then we set aside to cool. Voila! We had a simple lemon syrup to bring our sweet element.
After that we turn our attention to the strawberry puree. Using strawberries means we can reduce the amount of syrup used as they bring their own natural sweetness to the drink. We chop. We blitz. We’re done.
Then it’s the turn of the lemons. A whole heap of lemons. Well 7 to be exact, but it felt like a whole lot more. I also picked the wrong day to squeeze lemons with a cut hand. Ouchies! So we slice, we squeeze, we fish out pips until we’re left with pure lemon goodness. It was serious pip carnage.
Then it’s all about the assembly. Lemon juice has already been added to our syrup so we pour in our strawberry puree, and top up with water and ice.
Maybe, just maybe, you can top it of with some sparkling wine. Feel all fancy while drinking it. Or a splash of gin would be delish and equally as refreshing. Whether enjoyed pure and simple or with a splash of booze, this drink is a summer winner.
Makes one pitcher but recipe can easily be doubled, trebled, quadrupled…you get the idea
Half cup of sugar (110grams)
Half cup of water
Zest of one lemon
A big handful of strawberries – roughly 250 grams or 3/4 pint
Extra splash of water
Juice of 7 lemons (use more or less depending on preference)
3 cups of water
Handful of ice cubes
1. Add the half a cup of sugar, half a cup of water and the zest of one lemon to a sauce pan. Gently heat until the sugar has dissolved. Swirl the pan to help this process occur. Pour into a jug and leave to cool.
2. Slice the strawberries in half and add to a blender with a splash of water. Blend until smooth and set aside.
3. Juice seven lemons into the same jug as the simple syrup. Fish out any stray pips along the way. Add the strawberry puree along with 3 cups of water. Leave to chill in the fridge until ready to serve. Add ice just before serving.