With the glut of lemons in the marketplace (yes I went back and bought more – less than 5 shekels a kilo), I decided to make a spot of lemonade. Although usually I stick with water, lemonade, when made right is tasty and not that unhealthy. Chances are by the way, that you’re not making it right…..
The mistake that most people make when making lemonade is to simply add sugar to water and lemon juice and give it a stir – the sugar will sink to the bottom and unless you keep stirring away you’ll have a very bitter drink for those drinking the first few cups and a huge sugar rush for whoever gets the dregs.
Instead, what you need to do is make a simpler syrup or variation thereof. A simple syrup is 1 cup of sugar dissolve by boiling in 1 cup of water. This will distribute your sweetness more evenly. Don’t ask my the chemistry behind it.
The variation in this case is that I don’t like my lemonade too sweet and a whole cup of sugar would be way too much – I use 1/3 or maybe 1/2 a cup but – everyone has their own taste so play around with it.
Someone sent me a video yesterday for making ginger tea. It’s pretty simple – essentially you slice ginger super thin with a peeler, mandolin or sharp knife and boil it up in water. Strain the result, add a teaspoon of honey and you’ve got ginger tea – a wonderful, punchy alternative way to start the day with a whole bunch of health benefits to boot.
Combining the two recipes seemed like a pretty obvious idea to me. Lemonade can deal with a whole bunch of additions – in this case the ginger gives a background zing without being overwhelming – but you can certainly add more ginger if you like here’s what I did:
Enough lemons to give you a cup of juice (I used 8 small lemons)
sugar – I used 1/3 of a cup
fresh ginger – a piece the size of your thumb – sliced thinly
Take a liter of water, add sugar and ginger and heat. The sugar will dissolve and the water will take flavour and colour from the ginger – let it bubble away for 10 – 15 minutes, then leave to cool.
Squeeze your lemons.
Add one to the other and top up with about a 1 1/2 litres of water.
Serve icy cold.
Variations – leave out the ginger. Add mint to make “Limonana”, we’re just entering strawberry season – blitz the not to good looking ones and add the resultant juice with will make a sweeter, pinker lemonade. Add alchohol – peach schnaps is particularly good and works with all variations that I’ve tried up until now.