Thursday, May 28, 2009

PERFECT LEMONADE

Just in time for Summer - Perfect Lemonade. Don't settle for the powdered kind that you mix with water! Is that stuff even real? The secret to perfect lemonade is to start by making a sugar syrup, called "simple syrup." Dissolving the sugar in hot water helps disperse it into the lemonade, rather than watching it sink to the bottom, and then try to get it stirred in. Always remember this ratio: 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, 1 cup fresh lemon juice. Then go from there.

PERFECT LEMONADE

1 cup sugar
1 cup water - for the simple syrup
1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
3 to 4 cups cold water to dilute
ice

Make simple syrup by heating the sugar and water in a small saucepan, until the sugar is dissolved completely. While the sugar is dissolving, use a juicer to extract the juice from 4 to 6 lemons, enough for one cup of juice. *Hint* If you roll your lemons one at a time, on the counter back and forth, while applying gentle pressure with the palm of your hand, your lemons will produce more juice* Add the juice and the sugar water to the pitcher. Add 3 to 4 cups of cold water, more or less to the desired strength. Add ice and fresh slices of lemon and you're ready to go! Super easy!
Serves 6

*Tips about heating lemons to produce more juice*
Heating lemons in a microwave oven really does increase the amount of juice produced. I don't know what process is at work, but once heated, the lemon becomes very soft, and very juicy. So I suspect that heating bursts the cells of the lemon pulp, and releases the encapsulated juice. It seems the hotter the lemon, the more juice that can extracted.

But be careful: If you heat a lemon too much, it may burst and spew lemon juice all over your microwave oven. Or worse yet, an over-heated lemon might NOT burst, but rather just sit quietly, waiting for you to 'pop' it. Once your knife pierces its skin, it bursts and spews hot lemon juice all over YOU! (BTW: If this does happen, as with other mild burns you can lessen the damage by putting ice on the burn immediately.)

For best results use lemons at room temperature, or even slightly warmed up in the microwave. Lemons will be much easier to squeeze and will yield the most juice.You could even let them stand in a bowl of very hot water for about 10 minutes before squeezing them.

6 comments:

bopeep said...

That lemonade looks really good.
Prayers, Bo

Blythe said...

Does it work just as well with Splenda?

Jessica said...

I'm looking forward to the next warm and sunny day to make this!

Starr said...

Blythe, I don't know why it wouldn't. I don't know if the measurements would be the same though. I think I'd start with 1/2 cup of Splenda and work my way up from there.

Steven C. Karoly said...

Your memon aid reminds me of my father ... he loved the drink.

Nina in Portugal said...

never knew that about melting the sugar first...hmmmmm....