‘If life deals you lemons make lemonade’....(or a gin and tonic!)
Oh how I love the sentiments of that expression. None more so than nowadays – it is telling us to make the best of what we have been dealt with and to turn some of the ghastly negatives into something a little more positive. Not easy with such dreadful problems invading our lives ferociously, but let’s try.
You surely already know how to make a gin and tonic, of course served with a slice of lemon, but have you tried home made lemonade – whilst smiling to yourself as you are turning something eye wincingly bitter into something delicious. Making the best of what we have. A negative into a positive.
To start, using a small sharp knife or a potato peeler (be very careful – human skin will not enhance the taste) you need to pare the skin off 6 large lemons. Try to get it as thin as you can so it is mainly the yellow zest and not the sharper white pith underneath.
Place into a large bowl with about 150g of white caster or granulated sugar (depending on your sweet tooth).
Pour over a litre of boiling water. Leave it, covered, overnight so that the sugar dissolves and the lemon zest imparts its tang.
Then add the juice of the 6 peeled lemons. Leave for a couple of hours.
Sieve to trap all the lemon zest and any pips.
Now, what to do with this basis of lemon syrup water?
You could mix with a further litre of cold water for a jolly good fresh, albeit still lemonade. Or use more or less water – to your own taste.
This was hugely popular when I managed the vegetarian restaurant – or perhaps that was because it was served complimentary! Note to self – add it complimentary to the Merrow Savouries’ menus – and see if it is just as popular!!
Alternately, add a litre of sparkling water to the original lemon syrup for a fizzy lemonade.
To make a fun pink lemonade add a handful of fresh mashed raspberries or strawberries.
Or mix with some cranberry juice, with or without more still or sparkling water.
I like to grate in a piece of fresh ginger with the extra water, for a real kick! (This version is also good served warm in winter)
Always serve in your best jug or glass with lots of ice and even further slices of lemons.
For a more healthy option make a delicious, lemon flavoured water. It may be obvious but rather than just putting a slice of lemon into a glass of cold water, add 4 slices and leave for about an hour to infuse. Freshness in a glass with no sugar! But do make sure you remove the pips as they can make your lemon water bitter which means you may be tempted to add sugar!
You could also add slices of cucumber (really you can) or oranges, or both – just don’t be mean and pile them in, allowing everything to infuse.
Serve ice cold and you may well find you can soon drink more of that brilliant product – water.
Enjoy! Sue Merrow Savouries