Alrighty. How are you liking LEMONADE WEEK? It's time to talk a little lemonade, shall we?
How do you like it? Mouth-puckering tart? Sugary-sweet? Fizzy? Frozen? Speaking of, go back and remember my Mint Lemonade from last summer. Man that stuff is good; worth a revisit.
Have you noticed lemonades popping up more on menus? I mean things you drive by. McDonald's, for example, has a new "Frozen Strawberry Lemonade." Have you tried it? I had to, you know, for research. Grody. Artificial-tasting, very strong, very sour. A friend of mine thought the same thing. She thought it might have been flukey - how can something that sounds so good taste so bad? - so she tried it again when visiting another state. Same badness. That's three data points so you know it's reliable.
On the other hand, Wendy's has a new Wild Berry Lemonade that is super good. Very refreshing. Thumbs up.
I know Cafe Rio is not nationwide yet, but it's big in Utah and we recently got a couple out this way. I have to say, I don't love the food. But next to their self-serve soda spigots are three or four kinds of fresh lemonade that are to die for. Worth the trip just for them. I can't remember the others because I was hook-line-sinker addicted to a combo of southwest lemonade (which contains something floral/herbal - hibiscus?) and mint lemonade after one sip. Seriously, I would drive the hour just for the drink!!!
But when I don't have an hour, I'm still OK because there is a Starbucks on every single corner in Arlington. (Don't believe me? Watch this.) Maybe every other corner. And my very favorite summer beverage (that I don't make myself) is Starbucks' Passion Tea Lemonade. Oh, thrill of my taste buds, there are no words for the refreshment thou hast brought me, summer after summer!
Sooo...how do you lemonade?
Oh, yes. There is a recipe in this post. Straight-up fresh strawberry lemonade. Not pretend strawberry lemonade like some places make. Very delicious, and you can make it thick or thin, depending on how thoroughly you choose to strain the berry puree. Just be warned! The seeds sink to the bottom so careful about sipping them all up through a straw. I wish I'd had a video camera...
Strawberry Lemonade (print recipe)
1 cup sugar
1 cup fresh lemon juice (from 6 lemons) plus 1 lemon, sliced, for serving
1 pound strawberries (3 cups), hulled and halved
16 ounces seltzer, chilled
Mint sprigs, for serving
1. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups water and sugar to a boil over medium-high. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves, 2 minutes. Transfer to a pitcher and refrigerate until cool, about 45 minutes. Add lemon juice and stir to combine.
2. In a blender, puree strawberries until smooth. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into pitcher with lemon syrup, pressing on solids. Stir well to combine.
3. To serve, stir in seltzer and divide among ice-filled glasses. Top with lemon slices and mint. Serves 4 to 6
Recipe from Everyday Food, June 2011