Friday, January 8, 2010

Simple Syrup Lemonade

After making raspberry sorbet last week, I still had about a cup and half of homemade syrup (two cups sugar, two cups water, bring to a boil and stir about 30 seconds to a minute). I figured I'd try to make some homemade lemonade.

We've all seen those lemonade stands at the fair, the ones with lemon-shaped stands where they put water and sugar in a plastic cup the height of the Empire State Building and shake it in front of you. Overpriced, but usually not bad, although the sugar tends to settle at the bottom. Indeed, I tried to make lemonade using sugar once a long time ago and had the same problem. The result was inconsistent, going from overly tart to cloyingly sweet as you drank. The syrup seemed the perfect solution, evenly distributing and infusing the sweetness throughout the beverage.

Guess what. It works. I squeezed five lemons to produce about a cup of lemon juice and mixed it with three cups of water and about half a cup simple syrup. For my taste, it was perfect, pleasingly tart with just enough sweetness to take the edge off (although my daughter thought it should be sweeter). The taste was consistent throughout and there was none of that annoying gritty sweetness at the end.

I was surprised at the relative expense. You don't think twice about buying a lemon or two at 50 cents a pop. But five or six, well that's not cheap, especially when it only produces about four cups of beverage. Unfortunately, the processed stuff is much cheaper.

Next I want to try adding pureed raspberries. I suspect that will make a killer drink.

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