Friday, May 20, 2011

Secret Ingredient Homemade Lemonade

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. 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.
Ingredients:
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


Directions:
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!

Enjoy!

41 comments :

  1. Sounds SO refreshing!
    I have been making "magic water" (a kind of lemonade water) by the gallon around here lately...but nothing beats fresh squeezed lemonade!

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  2. Mmmmm Fresh Lemonade is thee best! Perfect for summer on those hot summer days : ) We are all about flip flops and shorts here at the Lofthouse household too!! ; )

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  3. Oh, I've never seen the microwaving trick for lemons. This looks so cool and refreshing!

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  4. Finally the warm weather is here and we can enjoy some of this delightful refreshment! Lemonade has to be enjoyed in the heat and then there's nothing better! Nice trick with the microwave, I've always rolled lemons and limes to release the juices, but never heard of doing it this way.

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  5. So far no one's bashing you about the lemon extract. :) It's pure so it's just about the same thing, right?

    I usually zest my lemons before squeezing it so I can freeze it and have it available for times when I need the zest but don't have a lemon around (yeah, like that happens).

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  6. There's nothin' like fresh squeezed homemade lemonade...YUM!

    Swing by my blog and check out my avocado giveaway! {www.janedeereblog.blogspot.com}

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  7. What a nice picture. It made my mouth water to look at it. I cannot wait for summer either. I have been wearing flip flops for a couple of weeks now. We have had a great spring so far in the Carolinas!

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  8. How refreshing! This sounds perfect for summer!

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  9. Oh yea baby, fresh lemonade at this hot weather is the best, especially if you sit on your porch and watch your husband cut the grass:)))
    Thanks for sharing!!!

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  10. oooh, yum! Perfect for this weekend when it's supposed to finally get warm here in Chicago. Sounds perfect!

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  11. OK... Don't laugh (though I know you're going to...) Yes your lemonade looks great... But my favorite part of your post it the garbage disposal tip... HAHA!!! What a GREAT idea! Trying it right now!!! hehe!

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  12. There's nothing like a pitcher of ice cold lemonade on a hot day! I would never have thought of adding lemon extract to help out the flavor of those lemons that just don't make it, but it makes perfect sense. Thanks for the tip! :)

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  13. Refreshing! Love the tip about the lemon extract, I'll try that! We have lemons up the wazoo out here in Los Angeles right now, so I'm glad you got some of them out there! P.S. never far from my flip flops either!

    Beth

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  14. You can't beat fresh home made lemonade - so refreshing.
    :-) Mandy

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  15. You're a girl after my own heart! Love lemonade and this sounds soooo good.
    XoXoXo
    Joy

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  16. My guy likes his lemonade so tart it makes his lips pucker. He would love this. Need to make this for him to take to work with his lunches. Yummy!

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  17. I can't wait till it actually feels like spring around here! Then I'll make a batch of your lemony lemonade! It sounds fabulous, Brandie~

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  18. Great minds must think alike because I just posted a lemonade recipe today too! LOL!

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  19. Brings back memories of the homemade lemonade I made a few times when we lived in Melbourne, FL and I was able to use lemons from peoples' backyards! It was so delightful and the home-grown lemons put forth about 25-35% more juice EACH, so you had to add more sugar/water to keep your lips from puckering off!

    I might have to make some of this when I get back to Navarre!

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  20. Sounds like a perfect drink to spend a lazy afternoon with. I for one live in flip-flops come summertime. Hurry up an get here already, please.
    -Gina-

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  21. Hoping for some lemonade drinking weather here! May not be able to wait that long before making up a batch of this lemonade!

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  22. Your lemonade looks refreshing! Perfect on those 90 degree days!

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  23. Sounds very refreshing and delish!

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  24. I myself just like a hint of lemon but my son and husband would be all over this! Also I like the tip for nuking the lemons a little before juicing.

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  25. Love freshly squeezed lemons for homemade lemonade. I never would have thought about using lemon extract to add, but it must really give it an intense lemony flavor.
    Great idea!

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  26. MMM made me thirsty! I had to add lemons and the extract to my shopping list :)
    Thanks for the recipe!

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  27. Brandie, I just adore the look of your lemonade. I've never made it before and will have to change this! I also love your comment about the rubbish. Funny you should mention it, since we had melon and so I should add the lemons with it! Great advice!

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  28. Hi! I'm having a linky party over at my blog called A Themed Baker's Sunday which this weeks theme is cakes! If you have any cakes i would love for you to join! If not, come back nexxt Sunday to see our new theme!
    http://cupcakeapothecary.blogspot.com/2011/05/themed-bakers-sunday-6.html
    Alyssa

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  29. This sounds delicious. I have never made lemonade from scratch before. Please stop by www.laughloveandcraft.com and link up to my Share the Wealth Wednesday Link Party! I'm your newest follower!

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  30. Ooooh, the husband just LOVES lemonade. Actually, it's one of my memories of him on our first date - getting a big ol' lemonade at the Fourth of July fair. I'm sure he'd love it if I made this for him!

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  31. I found this at a link party and This sounds refreshing and AMAZING! I feel like I need to make this asap!
    I am your newest follower and I would love if you would check out my blog and follow me too!
    -Nikki
    http://chef-n-training.blogspot.com/

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  32. Love that fresh squeezed lemonade, but never tried the the lemon extract though. Great pic!

    My husband had had kidney stones, so a preventative, my husband's Dr. told him to drink a glass of fresh squeezed lemonade every day. Somehow it keep the stones from forming! We bout a juicer to make the process easier.

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  33. I found your site via your guest post at Becky's blog! So glad I found it! This lemonade looks so refreshing and so much better than the powder that I usually mix up. I will be giving this recipe a try this summer!

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  34. That lemonade sure does look refreshing! :), Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

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  35. I would wear flip flops year round and on every occasion if I could. No bashing from me on the lemon extract in your lemonade! I put onion powder on my onions while I'm sauteing them. I think your lemonade looks delicious!

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  36. We make homemade lemonade all the time. Will try your recipe soon. I found you from the Tidy Mom linky. I hope you'll swing by Momtrends and share this on our linky too:

    http://www.momtrends.com/2011/05/magic-ingredient-recipes-purees/

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  37. OH MY! This is making me want a nice cold glass of lemonade right now! I am already a follower of your blog, but I would love it if you would come stop by my blog and follow me too! I am constantly looking at your recipes and would love to be blogging friends! thanks!
    -Nikki
    http://chef-n-training.blogspot.com/

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  38. Thank you so so so so so so much! I have been wanting em some frsh lemonade for a while now and it is just so perfect for summer time. My hubby is for sure gonna thank you :) I found this project through TT&J linky party! Thank you for sharing. Come say hi! I love new followers.

    A mommy's life...with a touch of YELLOW
    tyandwhitneyulrich.blogspot.com

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  39. What's even more refreshing than drinking this is that it doesn't rely on a powder mix! I just made it with an adult twist...adding some Jack Daniels for a Lynchburg lemonade :)

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  40. I am a lemonade junkie so this is right up my ally. I've never tried the lemon extract. I will now though. :)

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