Saturday, 26 July 2014

Have Lemons.....

Hey fellow crafters! 
Well it is summer time and here in England we are really enjoying some heat. Honestly, I don't know how I managed in Australia for so long where we could have temperatures as high as 46 degrees!

Anyway, my point was not simply to say something about the weather! I want to show you how to make homemade lemonade which sparkles! 

You can make the still version if you prefer but I love the addition of the sparkling water to make it fizzy.

So what will we need? 
Lemons of course. You will need about five medium sized.
1/2 - 3/4 cup caster sugar depending on variety
Boiling water
Your choice of still or sparkling water
Ice, mint leaves and lemon slices

TIP: if you choose still water, aim for a good quality filtered one and for goodness sake, make it COLD! Don't go to all the trouble of making your own drink and then just fill the jug up from the tap.

Equipment needs are pretty standard too. Get a large bowl, a sharp knife, a chopping board, a fine sieve and a potato masher. 
To serve, a nice jug.

Sugar caveat - this recipe has sugar and you cannot make it without. This is not a problem but if you drink too much, you will put on weight. Save it for a special occasion and share it with friends.

It is worth mentioning that different varieties of lemons have different levels of sugar/acidity. For example, at one end of the scale, Meyers (small, thin skinned and quite orange coloured) are lower in acidity and higher in sugar and Lisbons are larger, lighter coloured and much more sour. Supermarket lemons in the UK seem to be a mixture of the two so the amount of sugar is right for this recipe. Adjust if you are using extremely different varieties.

Okay, so here goes....
Wash and dry the lemons and then slice them  about 1/2cm thick. Place them in the bowl. Put the sugar on top. Boil the kettle and pour a very small amount of water over the sugar.

TIP: you will only need enough water to dissolve the sugar. Too much and you will dilute the flavour too much. And NEVER be tempted to boil the mixture to concentrate the flavour. You will make lemon marmalade, not lemonade!

Now take the potato masher and squash the lemons until they have yielded all of that lovely flavour.

Because you have the pith on, the lemonade will be slightly bitter (like the really expensive bottled varieties) To control this, don't squash as much.

Next, strain the pulp through the fine sieve into a wide container, squashing as you go to extract as much juice as possible. Discard the lemon pulp.

Use the lemonade a little like lemon squash (cordial). You mix it to taste with water. Add some lemon slices/ice cubes/mint leaves to your liking and find a shady spot to enjoy!

Think about variations too. Add limes or try some fresh grated ginger. Consider freezing as popsicles but if you do this, make the mix a little more concentrated than for drinking.

Have a nice summer day and thanks for stopping by!