Joe and Cole use to make lemonade together every summer all summer, and Cole has carried on the tradition. I’m a big fan of sweet iced tea, iced coffee, iced bottles of Coke and root beer floats during the summer months, but nothing is as refreshing as an icy glass of lemonade. For those of you who just mumbled, “Try water,” I heard you and I would drink more water if it weren’t so darn boring and tasteless.
If you have kids, I suggest letting them learn to make the lemonade because it’s fun and is a cure for summer boredom that has a pleasing final result for the whole family. Really? No. The only reason I suffered the mess and let Cole make it the first time himself the summer after Joe died is because he threw the old “Dad and I used to do this together” line at me; how could I say no? The real reason to let your kids learn to make lemonade is so you don’t have to—and the good news is, after you yell loudly at them and hit them hard a few times with the broom, they learn to clean up.
And now, without further delay, is our family lemonade recipe. I have no idea where it came from originally. You may have to tweak the recipe a little to find the right sweetness for your taste buds. We use two cups of sugar but sometimes add a little more to the pitcher. Cole and I (yes, I do this too) love taking the lemon peels, sprinkling them with sugar and eating them. My mouth objects and breaks out in canker sores, but I still find the lemon peels hard to resist…and they are an excellent source of vitamin
For the Syrup:
- Grated zest of 2 lemons
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
For the Lemonade:
- 2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 12 lemons). Reserve about 1/2 of the rinds and roughly chop.
- 3 cups cold water
- To make the sugar syrup, in a medium saucepan combine the zest, sugar, and water. Bring to a boil of over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for 15 minutes.
- Transfer the syrup to a 2 quart pitcher. Let cool. Tip: put the syrup in a metal bowl and surround with ice for quicker cooling.
- Add the lemon juice, chopped lemon rinds and cold water. Still well to combine. Chill until very cold or pour over ice and enjoy immediately. We like to add a festive sprig of mint! Makes about 2 quarts.
Tip: The lemon-flavored simple syrup can be made all at once and refrigerated for about a month. Naturally this speeds up the process.