We are a flip-flop and shorts kinda family. As soon as the warm weather hits, we are in our flip-flops faster than you can say Kool-Aid. And of course, the minute we get a warm snap, we are thinking about lemonade. We are starting to see some very nice lemons show up in our local grocery store. I could do without the bugs and humidity when summer eventually gets here but I do love the changing of the seasons. Spring is officially here! And good-looking lemons are one of those signals that warmer weather is headed this way.
I make this lemonade a lot in the warmer months. And after reading the recipe, I think many lemonade purists may be a bit up in arms but please work with me on this. I like my lemonade to taste very lemon-y. And sometimes, well, sometimes lemons themselves just aren't lemon-y enough. Do you know what I mean? Sounds crazy, I know. How can a lemon not be lemon-y enough? It's a lemon for crying out loud! But not every batch of lemons are created equal. So I give them just a little help, that's all. Give this batch a try and let me know what you think.
4-5 lemons (enough to get about 3/4 cups lemon juice)
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
2 quarts of water
Put each lemon in the microwave for about 15 seconds before squeezing. This will help the lemon give up more juice. Slice each lemon in half and hand squeeze or use a lemon juicer to extract juice from each lemon half. You want to get about 3/4 cups of juice in total from all your lemons.
Run your lemon juice through a strainer to get out all the seeds andbigger pieces of pulp.
Pour lemon juice into a 2 quart pitcher. Add 1 cup of sugar and lemon extract. Fill pitcher with water until it reaches the spout lip. Stir until all the sugar is dissolved. At this point, do a taste test. Not all lemons are equal. Some are more sour than others so you'll want to make sure your lemonade is to your liking at this point. It may need a bit more sugar or perhaps you want it more sour and want to add a a bit more lemon juice. Heck, you may even want to add a bit more lemon extract. We prefer a sweeter lemonade but everyone's tastes can be a bit different when it comes to lemonade.
Now, go sit on your porch or balcony or favorite easy chair and take nice, slow sips of this concoction. And think of summer breezes and fresh cut grass. Ahhhh - that's the stuff right there.
Cook's Tip: Don't throw out all of those lemon rinds yet. Cut them up in chunks and throw a few into your food disposal. It will not only freshen your disposal but leave it smelling heavenly!