This is, I think, Rich’s mom’s favorite new summer sip; and really it’s perfect after a warm, sunny day exploring Lake Geneva.
I make my Arnold Palmers using half iced tea and half fresh lemonade; then add sliced navel oranges to the pitcher. You COULD use instant iced tea and powdered lemonade; but I think if you start with both FRESH and REAL, you’ll be much more pleased with the flavor, and I just happen to have a really nice recipe for each!
My mom was the queen of iced tea when I was a kid, but I never really cared for it then, so never paid much attention to the hows, whys and wherefores. Lucky for me, the Tribune provided a solution last year that makes a fine batch of tea, and also answers all those pesky questions I never knew I needed to know! NOTE: I posted this tea recipe on Friday; I’m reposting here with my new favorite lemonade recipe courtesy of our friends at Food Network Magazine. I’ve been enjoying this magazine so much lately that we broke down and got a subscription; the web is convenient, but I really do like to hold my bits o’ print in my grubby little hands.
•6 tea bags
•1/8 tsp baking soda
•1/4 cup sugar
•Water (do I really need to note this?)
•About 6 lemons
•1-1/2 cup sugar
•1/2 tsp salt
•Water (*sigh* – see above)
First, the tea:
In a glass measuring cup or ceramic teapot large enough to accommodate 2 cups boiling water, place 6 regular-size tea bags and 1/8 teaspoon baking soda. (The baking soda will soften the natural tannins that cause an acid or bitter taste.) Pour 2 cups boiling water over the tea bags. Cover and let steep 15 minutes.
Remove the tea bags, being careful not to squeeze them (squeezing the bags will add bitterness).
Pour concentrate into a two-quart pitcher and add 6 cups cold water. Sweeten, if you like – I added 1/4 cup of sugar.
Let cool, then chill and serve over ice.
Hints: Tea will become cloudy if refrigerated while still warm. Add a little boiling water to clear up the cloudiness. The tannins in tea also cause cloudiness when the tea is brewed in hard water. If you know you have minerals in your water, use filtered water.
Now the lemonade:
The magazine calls this ‘Perfect Lemonade’ – and I think they may just be correct; light and refreshing, not too sweet, and no aftertaste of all those lemon-like mixes, powders and whatnots mixed with water and corn sweeteners (not that there’s anything wrong with that) out there.
Remove wide strips of zest from two lemons (the yellow part – get as little of the white pith as you can, but I don’t really get fussed about it) with a vegetable peeler. Side note – I have citrus zester(s)/graters, but had NEVER thought of just using a vegetable peeler – how cool an idea is that? And how dense must I be? Back to the lemonade:
Add the lemon zest to 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1 1/2 cups water in a small pan. Bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Let cool.
Stir 1/2 tsp salt into the lemon simple syrup, then add to a pitcher with 2 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice (hence, the ‘about’ 6 lemons – but don’t stress if you’re a bit light in the juice and out of lemons – just top it off with some water and carry on. After all – no one is in the kitchen with you, they don’t HAVE to know) and 2 cups water. You can add additional fresh lemon slices, though I find the zested peel looks just as nice.
For pink lemonade, the magazine suggests adding a dash of grenadine. I’ll leave the addition of vodka, gin, or other spirits to your individual taste, preference and desire – though I DO have a recipe for ‘Skip and Go Naked Punch’ that some may want to try…