Sunday, June 5, 2011

Lemonade: three ways.

One of the best summer drinks is lemonade. It also happens to be my favorite beverage period so I thought I would make a few alternatives as an excuse to drink lemonade everyday.
None of these recipes require cooking a simple syrup, which is a bonus because they are essentially ready to drink immediately without having to wait for it to cool down.
If you have never had Brazilian lemonade before, I strongly suggest you whip up a batch!

Basil Lemonade
The amount of basil you use depends on your personal taste. I used 1/4 of a cup and loved the strong herb flavor but it was too potent for my husband. More for me!

1 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
4 cups water
2 tbl-4 tbl lightly packed fresh basil leaves

Combine all of the ingredients and blend for 1 minute. Chill and serve.

Watermelon Pink Lemonade
A great way to use up watermelon that tastes great, but has a not so great texture. I often find that I pick up watermelon that has a weird mealy texture and it really throws me off so I like to juice from there to still get my dollars worth!

3 cups (1" cubes) watermelon
5 oz lemon juice
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
3 cups water
2 tbl maraschino cherry juice
maraschino cherries, for garnish

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender except the cherries. Strain into a pitcher and chill. Serve with whole cherries.

Brazilian Lemonade
Brazilian lemons, look and taste more like limes, which is why I used limes in this "lemonade." Traditionally, sweetened condensed milk is used but I substituted sweetened coconut milk for an even better tasting drink.

2 limes, each cut into 8 pieces
1 cup organic cane sugar
6 cups water
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup organic cane sugar
2 tbl water

Unless you have a giant blender, I suggest you doing this in three quick and easy steps.
Combine half of the limes with 1/2 cup sugar and 3 cups of water in a blender. Blend for 2 minutes and strain right into your serving pitcher. Repeat again with the remaining limes, 1/2 cup sugar and 3 cups water. Strain into the pitcher. Lastly, combine the coconut milk, 1/3 cup sugar and 2 tbl water and blend. Pour into the pitcher with the limeade and stir to combine. Chill and serve.

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