The summer season not only brings sunlight, but also brings sugar. Lots and lots of sugar. Ice cream, iced lollies, soft drinks, and of course, lemonade, to name a few of the season’s most delicious, and unhealthy treats. Of course, it would be unfair to ban yourself from indulging in these mouth-watering beverages and foods, but as we all know, home-made drinks and snacks are usually more healthy then any mass produced product available in shops. Ice cream and soft drinks may be a little hard to self-produce, and ice-lollies are quite simple: Just freeze whatever liquid you want the treat to be made up of upside down in a tray. Lemonade, however, can be a little more challenging, but fun and simple enough for a summer afternoon activity. The ingredients required are relatively simple - and you can even make your own flavours!
Starting out Simple- regular lemonade.
2 Cups/400g of sugar
3 Cups/700mL of fresh, cold water
2 Cups/475mL of freshly squeezed lemon juice
Begin by cutting the lemons in half and squeezing them- either with a juicer, or your hands. One works just as well as the other, as long as you don’t mind getting a little messy!
Next, combine the sugar and the water in a saucepan on the hob, and bring to a boil.
When the mixture is boiling, reduce the heat, and let simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Let the mixture cool, and then combine with lemon juice.
Refrigerate it until the drink is chilled, and then serve over ice.
Another easy recipe, which allows you to use something from your garden; Lavender lemonade, with lavender ice cubes.
1 Cup/200g of sugar
1 Cup/240ml of water (for the ice cubes)
4 Cups/950ml of water (for the lemonade)
3 Tbsp. of dried lavender (for the lemonade)
Heads of lavender stalks (as many as there are cubes in the ice cube tray)
Firstly, pick your lavender, dividing it into the lavender to be dried, and those to be used for the ice cubes.
Dry your lavender by separating the flowers from the stalks, and measuring them out, before putting the amount you need between two paper towels, and microwaving for approximately 2 minutes.
Next, cut your heads of lavender so each fits individually in an ice cube tray, and fill with water, before putting your to-be ice cubes in the freezer.
In a medium pot, combine 2.5 cups/320ml of water with the sugar and dried lavender, and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes, before removing from the heat, covering, and letting it stand for one hour.
Then, strain out the lavender from the mixture by pouring through a large strainer or sieve into a jug. Add the lemon juice, and additional water, stirring the mixture.
Refrigerate until cold, and serve with the lavender ice cubes.
There you have it - two wonderful recipes for a delicious summer drink. Hopefully they will be as sweet as the rest of your holidays!