What better time to celebrate the lovely lemon than during the dog days of summer? Each of these lemonade recipes is a tiny party in every glass. So, if you need a happy pick-me-up at the end of a hot day, get in the habit of buying your lemons by the bag and look no further than the fruit and herbs you have on hand. These lemonade recipes always look and taste terrific.
Basic Lemonade Syrup
Syrup will stay fresh in your fridge for several weeks if kept in an airtight container.
- 10 organic lemons, unwaxed
- 2 cups of sugar
- 1½ cups of cold water
Zest all the lemons and then juice them so you have about 1½ cups of liquid. Place all the zest, lemon juice, sugar, and water in a saucepan over medium heat until sugar is dissolved, but take care not to boil. Strain the syrup into an airtight container and let cool. Discard zest and seeds. Cover and refrigerate syrup for several weeks. You will have about four cups of syrup, which will make 16 glasses of lemonade.
To prepare lemonade, mix a ¼ cup of syrup with ¾ cup of water and serve over ice. Garnish with lemon slices if desired.
Berry Pickin’ Lemonade
Mash or blend ripe strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, or any other type of berry you prefer. Add honey to sweeten, if sour, and mix. Spoon berry mixture into ice cube trays. Pop out cubes as needed and allow them to thaw in the bottom of a pitcher or glass. Unused frozen berry cubes can be removed and kept in a freezer bag, where they should last all summer. When ready to serve, top thawed berry cubes with ice cubes. Add lemonade, lemon slices, and a sturdy straw for stirring.
Palisade Peach Lemonade
Use the same technique as Berry Lemonade but don’t add honey to mashed peaches. Keep peach cubes in a separate freezer bag so you can mix up flavors as the dog days progress.
Red C Cherry Limeade
Follow recipe for lemon syrup but substitute organic limes. Increase the number of limes to 12 and reduce the sugar to 1½ cups. Otherwise follow the recipe as directed. Mix ¼ cup of syrup with ¾ cup of soda water. Add two maraschino cherries with a splash or two of cherry juice in each glass. Garnish with lime slices if desired. Sweetness of limes may vary. If the limeade is not sweet enough, increase the sugar in the syrup recipe next time.
Mountain Slushy Lemonade
Put four ice cubes per serving into the blender. Pour in one quarter as much Basic Lemonade Syrup as you have ice for a thick slushy. If you desire a thinner consistency, add as much water as syrup. Blend on high until smooth. Substitute berry or watermelon cubes for ice cubes as desired. Pour into short glasses and serve with a straw or long spoon. This approach works just as well with limeade.
Fresh Herbs That Compliment Lemonade & Limeade:
- Lavender (culinary variety)
For a beautiful presentation, freeze sprigs of herbs into your ice cubes as well as using fresh sprigs for garnish.