Cooks Corner: Sour can be sweet

Published 2:06 pm Wednesday, April 23, 2008

By Staff
I rediscovered a favorite beverage this past week: lemonade. I've always enjoyed lemonade, but shied away from it over the past several years. One of the reasons I stayed away from the beverage for so long is because it's hard to find a really good tasting glass of lemonade.
I've tried so many variations on how to make basic lemonade that it's almost mind-boggling. I've used the little packets that you add sugar and water to as well as the pre-sweetened variety. I've used the frozen concentrate mix and have even used juice from a bottle adding sugar and water to make the drink. I have a hard time with some of those methods. The best, and easiest, is using the pre-sweetened can that comes in the plastic container. I commonly use a little more powder than the directions suggest just to have a little extra zing in the glass.
The one tall glass of lemonade I drank last Thursday got me thinking about other lemonades I've had the pleasure of drinking. There are a variety of flavors that can be added to a basic lemonade recipe that make for some fabulous refreshment.
This week, since the weather is turning warmer, I've decided to share some recipes for a great summer beverage.
You'll find a basic lemonade recipe and then some recipes that add some very interesting flavors to tickle your taste buds.
Basic Lemonade
1 cup bottled lemon juice
1 cup sugar
6 1/2 cups water
Combine lemon juice and sugar in a 2-quart pitcher. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add water and stir to mix well. Serve chilled over ice.
This should give you a good starting point for basic lemonade. You may need to adjust the juice or the sugar to fit your tastes.
Now on to some flavorful additions to lemonade. I found a really good pre-packaged strawberry lemonade that only requires the addition of water. It's a really good mix and I buy it when I can find it. If you can't find the mix, here's a good recipe you can try for a good strawberry lemonade recipe. The recipe calls for partially thawed frozen strawberries added to the lemonade. By blending the strawberries before you add them, the drink will have the strawberry flavor throughout the drink.
Strawberry Lemonade
1 (12 fluid ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
4 1/2 cups water
1 (10 ounce) package frozen strawberries, partially thawed
In a large pitcher, mix together lemonade concentrate and water. Stir in strawberries.
If strawberry lemonade doesn't sound appetizing to you, you may want to try adding some other ingredients to make it more appealing. I love pineapple so this next recipe sounds great to me. By the way, you can make the syrup and keep it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Pineapple Lemonade Spritzer
Syrup:
3 cups pineapple juice
3 lemons, juiced
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup honey
Additions:
6 slices lemon
1 (2 liter) bottle carbonated water
To make the pineapple lemon syrup: In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine pineapple juice, lemon juice, sugar and honey. Bring to a boil, and cook for 1 minute. Allow to cool, then refrigerate overnight. Fill 6 glasses with ice. Place a slice of lemon in each glass. Pour in 2 fluid ounces pineapple lemon syrup. Fill glasses to the top with carbonated water; stir.
I hope that you'll get a chance to try one of these deliciously refreshing drinks. The warmer weather is perfect for a tall, cool glass of something fruity.
Check back here next week. I plan to include some recipes that use lemonade in a variety of ways. You'll find a couple of pie recipes as well as a lemonade cake recipe. If you love lemon, you'll love the recipes I've found for next week.
Remember, if you have a recipe, tip or kitchen idea, let me know. I'd love to share it with our readers and I promise to give you credit for your submission. You can give me a call at 867-4876 or drop me a line by email at lisa.tindell@brewtonstandard.com.
Until next week, happy cooking!