Sunday, June 19, 2011

fresh squeezed lemonade

Fresh, organic, local, ice-cold lemonade is a beautiful thing.  I'm so happy to have a lemon tree but if you don't, there are tons of trees around town heavy with fruit: make friends with your neighbor or stake out a tree that's easy to reach.  And they are almost always in season here in san diego.

Here's my basic recipe:

in a 1 gallon container -

2 - 2  1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (including pulp)
zest of a lemon (optional)
1  1/2 - 2 cups your preferred sweetener (I usually use agave or a simple syrup made from evaporated cane juice and sometimes half honey)

Fill the rest of the container with spring water.

Lemonade is very easy to rift on using a vast array of seasonal ingredients.  Add any one of these ingredients before filling the container with water.  All amounts are approximate, so just use what you got and adjust to taste:
  • a tablespoon of zest and/or the juice of lime, buddha hand, tangerine,  orange, grapefruit (with rose), and/or kumquat
  • a handful of fresh lavender or rose geranium, steeped in a cup of hot water for 20 minutes, strained
  • 1 cup cucumber, blended and a handful of fresh mint, blended and strained
  • 8 cups watermelon, seeded and blended
  • a cup of chopped pineapple guava or dragon fruit, blended
  • a cup of pomegranate juice
  • a cup of berries, blended (and maybe strained; blueberry was a favorite and mulberry had amazing color)
  • POG - guava, passion fruit and orange

My little sister and I recently made an amazing lemonade with mulberries from my tree and strawberries and blackberries from the farmers market.

I also love to cut the sweetness by mixing lemonades with various iced teas and herbal tisanes.

Here's a few of my favorite combos:

Serve over ice and garnish with edible flowers!

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