At this point in the summer, nearly the end of July, any kind of mild weather seems a distant memory. Since most people would prefer not to be in the kitchen right now, here’s something that’s pure refreshment– no heat required.
Any sort of lemonade with the proper balance of sweet and tart hits the spot for me. It needs to be zingy enough to be refreshing but sweet enough to be consumed in copious amounts. This version has lemon and lime juice, cubes of watermelon, sliced rounds of lemon, lime, and orange, and other fruit, if you want. It’s more dynamic than regular lemonade, yet still tastes familiar.
Aside from eating thick wedges of watermelon on its own, maybe just rubbed with a bit of mint, this is my next-favorite way to enjoy it. The watermelon in this lemonade becomes slightly tart and extremely crisp and juicy and completely refreshing. Plus, how pretty is it in a pitcher, complete with bright rounds of limes, lemons, and oranges? Summer in a glass.
adapted from The Pastry Queen
I halved this large recipe, but upon draining my first glass, immediately wished I hadn’t. It’s the perfect antidote to the heat, one that you’ll crave all day long.
Makes a large pitcher, about 12 servings
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
2 cups simple syrup (above)
2 cups water
2 cups fresh lemon juice
1 cup fresh lime juice
4 cups ice cubes
2 cups diced watermelon
1 orange, sliced into rounds
1 lemon, sliced into rounds
1 lime, sliced into rounds
Mixed diced fruit of choice (Rather suggests apples, pears, or strawberries; I think cherries, blueberries, firm, ripe nectarines, or any other type of melon would be nice.) (optional, I omitted this.)
To make the simple syrup: In a medium saucepan, stir together the water and sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for a minute or two, or until all the sugar is dissolved. To cool the syrup quickly, place it in the fridge or freezer while you finish the prep work. (The simple syrup will keep stored in a tightly sealed glass jar indefinitely in the fridge.)
To make the lemonade: In a large bowl or pitcher, stir together the simple syrup, water, lemon juice, and lime juice. Taste and, if needed, add more simple syrup, water, or lemon or lime juice. Add the ice, watermelon, citrus rounds, and other fruit, if using. Stir well and chill in the fridge until cold.