Lemonade, from basic to limonana
All variations are the national drink at my house all year round!
I never drink soda nor serve soda, and nobody ever complains. Au contraire! They all clamor for one of my lemonade drinks! I fill and refill my pitchers in the wink of an eye. For large parties, I serve it in a fun diner-style three-gallon cold drink dispenser. So, move over soda and other store-bought un-goodies, get over here homemade lemonade! Each variation is a snap to make, and fabulous. With each mixture, adjust the water and the mixture to your own personal taste.
Please don’t be shocked at my suggesting you settle for bottled lemon or lime juice in a pinch. Like me, you will notice at your health food store some very decent unprocessed or minimally processed brands. These will do the trick when fresh lemons get too expensive to use in large amount and will make a delicious lemonade.
Basic Lemonade: 4 cups fresh lemon or lime juice (settle for a good brand bottled), 2 cups sugar
Bring the juice and sugar to just below a boil, and turn off the heat. Cool and transfer to a glass jar. In a 2 1/2-quart pitcher, put one cup lemonade mixture and 3 cups water, and complete with ice all the way up. Mix thoroughly from the bottom up.
Get your hands on superfine sugar!
Use it instead of the regular sugar. No heating: It dissolves instantly
Sugar-free basic: No boiling. In a glass jar, mix 4 cups lemon juice with stevia (make sure you get the stevia marked “no aftertaste) to taste. Use this mixture exactly as the mixture above.
Maple lemonade: No boiling. In a glass jar, mix 4 cups lemon juice with 2 cups maple syrup. Use exactly as the basic mixture, but stir the mixture thoroughly before using (maple syrup tends to settle in the bottom)
Ginger lemonade: Same as for the basic mixture, but add 1/4 cup grated fresh ginger to the sauce pan, and strain.
Pineapple ginger lemonade: In the pitcher, 1 cup ginger lemonade mixture, 3 cups pineapple juice, complete with ice.
Green tea lemonade: Steep 6 bags green tea in 1 quart boiling water, and discard the tea bags. In a pitcher, 1 cup basic lemonade, 3 cups tea, and ice.
Raspberry lemonade: Strain 6 bags raspberry (or other herbal tea of your choice: Passion, apple cinnamon, etc…) herbal tea in 1 quart boiling water, and discard the tea bags. In a pitcher, 1 cup basic lemonade, 3 cups raspberry tea, and ice.
Limonana: These amounts made me about 5 quarts Limonana (2 nice size pitchers): 1 cup mint leaves, packed, 1 cup fresh lemon juice, peel of 3-4 lemons, 1 cup agave or maple syrup (even a little less if you like it tart as I do), ice and cold water.
Throw the mint leaves, lemon zest and juice, and sweetener in a high power blender, and blend until perfectly smooth (that’s key). Divide the mixture between two large pitchers. Complete with more ice and water, and stir to combine.
Take a look at my trick: I double the limonana mix, and store the unused portions in ice trays. I take out the cubes at serving time, mix with ice and water, and give them a few minutes to dissolve.