Hot summer work deserves icy lemonade
We’ve been doing thirsty work at our place.
Next winter’s firewood just got dumped in our driveway.
While the rest of the world is doing normal summertime stuff like going to the beach and lounging in lawn chairs, my husband and I are spending our weekends lugging endless wheelbarrow loads of birch and maple to the side of the house.
It’s my own darned fault. The seasons got away from me this year, and by the time I got in touch with my wood guy to put my order in, our name was at the bottom of a long list of customers.
So instead of dealing with our woodpile in the springtime cool of April and May, here we are in the heat and humidity of July, sweating and stacking, stacking and sweating, taking a break every now and then to swill just about anything we can pour down our necks in an attempt to quench our thirst.
“You know what would be good right now?” I ask.
“A six-pack?” my better half replies over the thud, thud, thud of our logs as they land in the wheelbarrow.
“No, silly. Lemonade. Real lemonade, though. Made with real lemons. Not that fake, store-bought stuff. The real deal.”
Seed planted, I wait. It doesn’t take long before I am sent off to luxuriate in the air-conditioned comfort of the grocery store and pick up lemons and limes for our afternoon break. Ah, the power of suggestion is a wonderful thing.
A little squeezing and stirring, and we’re soon sitting under the trees, sipping the most refreshing, lip-puckering lemonade we’ve enjoyed in ages.
“That was good,” says he after our little siesta in the shade. “But I guess we should get back to the wood soon.”
“Wanna go to the beach?”
“I’ll get the rest of the lemonade. That wood will still be here when we get back.”
250 ml (1 cup) freshly squeezed
lemon juice (about 4-5 large lemons)
Freshly grated lime zest (optional, but adds extra flavour and looks pretty)
Very cold water
Lemon and lime slices
Fresh mint leaves
Pour freshly squeezed lemon juice into a 500 ml (2 cup) Mason jar. Add ¾ cup simple syrup and about 5 ml (1 tsp) freshly grated lime zest. Stir well.
For each drink, measure about 50 ml ( cup) lemon syrup into a tall glass filled with ice. Top up with 125 ml (½ cup) or so cold water. Stir. If it needs more sweetening, stir in a spoonful of leftover sugar syrup.
Garnish with lemon and lime slices and mint leaves.
LEMON ICED TEA
Lemon syrup (lemon juice and simple syrup mixed as above)
3 tea bags
Lemon slices, mint leaves
Place tea bags in pot; cover with 750 ml-1 litre (3-4 cups) boiling water. Steep until very strong. Remove tea bags, set tea aside to cool, then pour into a jar. Chill in fridge.
Measure about 50 ml ( cup) lemon syrup into a tall glass filled with ice. Top up with 125 ml (½ cup) cold tea. Stir. If you like your iced tea more tart, add more lemon syrup. If it needs more sweetness, stir in a spoonful of leftover sugar syrup.
250 ml (1 cup) freshly squeezed lime juice (about 6-8 large limes)
Pour freshly squeezed lime juice into a 500 ml (2 cup) Mason jar. Add 185 ml (¾ cup) simple syrup and about 5 ml (1 tsp) freshly grated lime zest. Stir well.
To make limeade, measure about 50 ml ( cup) lime syrup into a tall glass filled with ice.
Top up with 125 ml (½ cup) or so cold water. Stir.
If you like your limeade more tart, add a bit more lime syrup. If it needs more sweetness, stir in a spoonful of leftover sugar syrup.
Golden honey syrup: 125 ml ( cup) honey dissolved in 125 ml ( cup) warm water.
Agave syrup: 125 ml ( cup) honey dissolved in 125 ml ( cup) warm water.
Note: Dissolving the honey and agave in water makes them easier to stir into the lemon or lime juices. Honey is a lovely flavouring for lemon. Agave goes especially well with lime.
Nadine Fownes is an editor at The Chronicle Herald. You can get in touch by email at email@example.com, by subscribing to her posts at facebook.com/NadineFownesComfortFood or by following her on Twitter at @lobstahchowdah.
To make it easier to sweeten these drinks, dissolve the sugar first by making simple syrup: Dissolve 2 1/2 cups of sugar in 3/4 cup of boiling water. Cool before using.