This is a super easy recipe for a delicious refreshing summer drink LEMONADE! Or if you have Lemonade leftover's or would just like to have something icy and cold on a hot day then try out making a Granita, no extra tools needed for this easy summer treat.
(please excuse the picture above as the jar looks almost empty this was after drinking quit a bit of the lemonade ;) and also after making some granita's, hehe)
Step 1: Simple Syrup
The first step is to make Simple Syrup and that is very simple to do! It is as easy as equal parts Sugar to Water!
1 1/2 cups Sugar
1 1/2 cups Water
In a medium saucepan, put over medium heat and wait for the sugar to dissolve and for the water to become clear, once it becomes clear and is no longer cloudy, turn off the heat, allow to cool to room temperature and then place in the fridge to cool over night. This will make about 2 cups of Simple Syrup.
To give the Simple Syrup the flavor of lemon, grate a slice of lemon rind with a potato peeler and place in the pot after the sugar has dissolved and you have turned off the heat, put a lid on the saucepan and allow the lemon rind to steep in hot liquid until the syrup comes to room temperature, then remove the rind. (3rd picture was for photo purposes only, I had removed the rind previously before placing the simple syrup in the washed and re-used jam jar) P.S. when peeling your lemon, only remove a small portion of the white, be careful not to dig to deep into the pith (spongy white part) this will make your syrup bitter. This is why I like using a potato peeler, it doesn't go very deep.
Step 2: Making Lemonade Out of Lemons!
Okay you already made your Simple Syrup and it is cooling in the fridge, next step is to squeeze some lemons!
Each lemon I used made about 1/4 of a cup, we want to make 1 1/2 cups of lemon juice.
Cut lemons in half and use whatever tool you use to squeeze that juice out.
Save those Lemon Rinds and prepare them for making Granita's (if you want)
Step 3: Mixing It UP!
I have strained the lemon juice once already, when squeezing the lemons,
Strain again when pouring the 1 1/2 cups of lemon juice into your container
Then add 1 cup of Simple Syrup, stir
Add a chilled 1.5 litter bottle of Water
is it at the sweetness level that you want?
Add more Simple Syrup if needed.
My perfect mix was 1 1/2 cups lemon juice to 1 1/2 cups of Simple Syrup, my husband liked his a little more tart, so I just added a squeeze of lemon to his cup when he had a glass ;)
Step 4: Have Leftovers
Let's make some Granita's, Granita is an Italian semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water and flavorings and in our case lemon as the flavor (I added a few frozen strawberries when making this for my daughter, she loved being served in the lemon halves) When we open our Bed and Breakfast I totally plan on making these on hot summer days, they are easy to make and so refreshing!
It is the same recipe as the Lemonade,
Place your leftover lemonade or just make a batch for making Granita's
1/2 cup of Simple Syrup
1/2 cup of Lemon Juice
1 cup of water
freeze in a shallow pan, in my case I used a container that used to hold ice-cream
Depending on the depth of the liquid, freeze for 1-2 hours, then pull it out and scrape with a fork, from end to end, give it a taste and see does it need to be sweetened (add a dash more simple syrup) or in my case it needed a little more tartness, so I squeezed half a lemon and added that juice to the pan. Place back in the freezer and pull it out every 30 minutes and give it a good fork scraping until it is transformed into fluffy icy flakes, I "forked" my ice 3 times, taking a total of 2 hours, since it was in a shallow pan. But froze the concoction over night!
Did you save your lemon rinds!! Clean out the pith from the inside of the lemons and cut off a small part from the exterior of the lemon so they will lay flat inside of a container (see picture 3)
Now scoop that Lemon Granita inside of the lemon halves and Serve! or place back in the freezer for that Bar-B-Q dinner party! Yummy!
Step 5: Goof Ups
Screw Ups and just plain crazy ideas
My original idea was to make the sweetener for the Lemonade with Honey, but that just made the lemonade a brown color and looked like you were drinking watered down poo, ewwww....
Next I thought I would make some really cute cherry ice cubes, OMG they melted fast in the lemonade, not so cute, also along that idea was to add a jar of lemon's/cherries to the inside of the Lemonade so you knew it was Cherry Lemonade FAIL! Cool idea but total fail!
So the short story is KISS as my Grandma used to say "Keep It Simple Stupid" and just make delicious refreshing Lemonade and with the leftovers make some refreshing Lemon Granita's, ENJOY!
Step 6: Ice Cube Tip!
I just learned this a few weeks ago, so in case you don't know and if you want to add ICE-CUBES to your lemonade in order to make sure the ice-cubes don't have those ucky floaty crap inside when they melt, BOIL the water twice and allow to cool completely before adding to ice-cube trays, then you will have nice clear ice-cubes, Cheers!
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