Monday, June 2, 2008

Spicing up an old-fashioned favorite

I love old-fashioned lemonade. Not the powdered stuff that you mix with water. Not the stuff you buy in a 2-liter. No, I am talking the stuff that you mix yourself, made from simple syrup flavored with lemon zest, lemon juice and water. The pucker-you-up stuff.

Imagine this: In Victorian days, no air conditioning. No electric fans, even. You have on a long skirt, bloomers, and a long-sleeved blouse, buttoned to the neck. Boots on your feet. It is HOT! Scorching. 90+ in the shade. Dry, dusty. The air shimmers with heat. Suddenly - Clip-clop, clip-clop down the street comes the ice man. Now, there is no soda and I don't believe most victorians drank iced tea, maybe they did, but this is my story. So what do you make? Lemonade!! You put some ice in it and sip away and are transported (mentally at least) to a shady tropical beach, with big breakers rolling in and crashing. A cool breeze blows. Relief!

Ok, so lemonade syrup is simple easy to make. But let's spice it up a bit! Make it a bit different. Give it a Zing!

Spiced Lemonade
This is enough for 4 drinks, 6 if you add more club soda

1 lemon
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
4 whole allspice
4 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon chopped crystallized ginger
Pinch grated nutmeg
1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 8 lemons)
1 cup club soda OR seltzer water, chilled
Mint sprigs, for garnish (optional)

Remove rind in pieces from lemon with swivel-bladed vegetable peeler; avoid any bitter white pith.

Combine water, sugar, lemon rind, allspice, cloves, cinnamon stick, crystallized ginger and nutmeg in small saucepan. Bring to simmering; simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.


Strain into pitcher and chill; discard solids.

To serve, stir in lemon juice and club soda. Serve over crushed ice. Garnish with mint sprigs, if you wish.

You can just make the syrup, add the lemon juice and keep that in the fridge. Then to serve, just mix it with club soda to taste.

I do have to thank DS for this recipe! He made some last night and it is very nice!


Sylvie said...

That sounds wonderful, Raquel. I'll have to try it. Here in the UK you can buy Fentiman's Victorian Lemonade and I love it in summer. It's so nice and refreshing. Yours sounds like you could be just like that!

Jan said...

I want to make that! Looks great!

Jan said...

I don't think I could survive in this climate without A/C, lemonade or no lemonade. :-)

I tend to just drink iced water during the day, as I don't like soda, but your lemonade sounds like a refreshing alternative.

Angela said...

Lovely twist on a classic Raquel, I just hope we get a long hot summer here in UK to enjoy some ice cold lemonade.

Marie said...

Sylvie, I love that old fashioned Lemonade!!! It's fantastic! This spiced lemonade looks delicious Raquel! I must try it out myself this summer. As a child we used to love to listen to my mother tell us tales about the ice man and his horse drawn cart. It sounded so wonderful!

RecipeGirl said...

I love the idea of spicing up lemonade! I've not done that before. Last summer I made a strawberry lemonade that was super refreshing but this spiced up version sounds equally good!

nicisme said...

Sounds lovely - bring on summer!

Sue said...

Truth to tell Raquel I have never had fresh lemonade, just the kind you buy in the U.K. in the fizzy bottles labeled lemonade.
Not at all the kind you mean.

Kevin said...

I like the sound of adding spices to lemonade.

Jan said...

Hi Raquel,

I've been watching the weather and seen all the severe storms and tornadoes over Missouri. I hope you're okay.

Angie said...

All this talk of 'long, hot summers in the UK' is pure wishful thinking! Don't you believe a word of it - what we do is crank up the heating and have the lemonade hot, with honey, to keep away coughs and colds. Heh-heh
love, Angie, xx