Friends [and strangers w drinks] know that the past two years have been pretty crazy for me, lots of ups and downs. Basically, this whole Beyoncé-Lemonade situation was all me. I’ve learned, I’ve grown, but that aint what this post is about. It’s all about that sweet, tart, mouth-puckering glorious good stuff that’s sure to put a smile on your face and a little sugar in the old tank.
For years, I’ve posted countless attention-seeking pics of beautifully plated foods and crafted beverages, occasionally responding to curious followers with techniques and recipes. None, however, have received more inquiries than my strawberry lemonade. Why this is more popular than my boozy recipes, I’ll never understand, but I’m excited to recommend it with rum or vodka poured over ice or served martini-style with a muddled herb [if you’re fancy].
There are a million ways to construct a recipe and I often vary techniques due to experimentation, forgetfulness or any number of reasons. This version of lemonade is super easy to customize to your palate and with what you have on hand. If you like a sweeter lemonade, add more syrup. If strawberries aren’t your thing, try blackberries.
I usually start with about a cup of sugar to one cup of water [my geaux-to simple syrup proportion], then add lemon peels and quartered strawberries [or other berries]. The key here is to heat the mixture until the sugar is just dissolved, not boiling, or you’ll end up with more of a stewed berry flavor [just as incredible] rather than light and fresh.
To get a vibrant, rosy color from your syrup, carefully muddle the berries and allow them to steep for a few minutes. As the mixture cools, juice a few lemons–six or so should yield one cup of juice. Add 2.5 to 3 cups of cool water, then as much or as little of that delicious strawberry-lemon syrup as you can handle. You can strain out the pulp and peels from the syrup, but I don’t mind them. And if there’s any leftover syrup, save it! It’s great for cocktails or a little added sweetness to smoothies or oatmeal.