I was blown away by an amazing array of beverages available in the USA on my recent travels there. The category has literally exploded, and in line with what I saw in London two years ago. Sadly I wasn’t in either place long enough to drink my through these hundreds of amazing sounding drinks flavours.
The one thing I did drink a lot of in America on this trip was lemonade.
This is a staple and you find it everywhere. It’s generally inexpensive and you can get it in so many formats from hand-made artisinal to mass-produced powdered mix varieties. I only ever tasted ones that were delicious. It’s not like the fizzy clear lemonade we know here. This is made from lemons, and it quenches your thirst better than anything else I can think of.
I have had a philosophy over the past two decades to try not ingest calories in a liquid format. Obviously this doesn’t apply to wine and other boozy drinks. Its been my way of trying to limit the number of potentially fat causing particles allowed into my body. So I live on water, and sugar-free drinks (in general).
However, when in America one must drink lemonade. Or if you can’t go to America, make your own proper lemonade.
When it comes to juicing lemons you will discover that this citrus doesn’t yield much juice. It’s not anything like an orange. So to make two cups of juice you are going to need to go through 10 – 12 lemons. Doing this by hand is a chore of note. Having the Breville Juice & Blend makes it a total breeze. It is not surprising that this is the best-selling domestic juice machine in the country. You are also guaranteed to get ALL the juice out of each lemon. You just need to do remove the skin and pith, whack it into the feeder spout and bam – you are in the juice. You do the same to make the pomegranate juice.
Lemonade consists of lemon juice + sugar syrup + water / soda water, so you can make it as strong and as sweet as you like. The Americans taste tends to lean to the sweeter side whereas I like it less sweet. I only added 1/2 cup of sugar syrup, but taste and test and add as much as you like. You need loads of ice and water to top up the drink but I prefer soda water to give it an extra refreshing fizz.
To make sugar syrup you can either do a 1:1 ratio (sweeter) – or what I prefer a 2:1 (less sweet) ratio of water to sugar. Simply heat two cups of water with one cup of sugar until it has dissolved. Bring it to the boil and then remove from the heat to cool. Decant and store in a jar.
You will notice that I have garnished this drink with fresh sprigs of thyme, and this is because thyme and lemons are beautiful together. I have left it here as an interesting garnish, but you could infuse some of the thyme flavor into the syrup. Just add a few sprigs to the hot syrup at the stage where you remove it from the heat. Bruise the stalks a little to release some of the aromatics and then strain the syrup when it’s cooled. This will add a delicious herbaceous spike to your drink.
Recipe – makes about a litre of concentrate
- 2 cups of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 cup – 1 cup sugar syrup (depending on how sweet you like it)
- 1/2 cup fresh pomegranate juice
- loads of ice
- water or soda water
Juice the lemons in the Breville Juice & Blend and mix with the pomegranate juice and sugar syrup together. Keep this in a jog or bottle and use as required. Pour this into a tall glass about 1/3 of the way up. Fill the glass with ice. Top up with water or soda water and serve with fresh thyme sprigs and a few whole pomegranate seeds. These will pop in the mouth as you drink and look so very pretty.
I’m dying to experiment with other flavours, in particular a mango lemonade which I tasted when I was in Vegas.
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