Lemonade with Mint

Many lemon trees produce fruit sporadically throughout the year but tend to show a burst in production in late spring or early summer. So, those of you with a lemon tree might have quite a few lemons that you’re ready to use. How about some refreshing summer lemonade – either the classic variety or with a twist?

Most lemonade recipes begin about the same: You take equal proportions of sugar, water, and lemon juice, and mix them together. For the sake of simplicity, start with one cup of each.

But because simple mixing won’t dissolve the sugar (it will just sink to the bottom instead) the better recipes will advise you to create a simple syrup first. You do this by mixing the sugar and water in a saucepan and heating until the sugar is dissolved.

While your syrup is simmering, juice the lemons. Four to six lemons will yield about one cup of juice. Pour your syrup into a pitcher, add the lemon juice, and then dilute the mixture with two to three more cups of cold water. Add the water slowly, tasting your lemonade as you go, to achieve the right balance of sour and sweet. Everyone’s taste buds are a little different, after all!

The above recipe will produce a classic summer lemonade, but why stop there? If you enjoy getting creative in the kitchen, try infusing your lemonade with another flavor such as strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries. Simple cut up the fruit and leave it in the pitcher of lemonade overnight.

And, of course, some might want to add an “adult” twist to their lemonade. You can find plenty of lemonade cocktail recipes online, such as Kentucky lemonade which combines lemonade, ginger ale, mint leaves, and bourbon. Or, try out a Fireball pink lemonade, made from lemonade, cinnamon whiskey, and grenadine.

These ideas are just the beginning… Have fun exploring different ideas and serve up a batch of your very own homemade lemonade at your next cookout.