I don’t know how it was for all of you when you were growing up, but for me, lemonade was a yellow kool-aid packet. Sometimes it might be a powder that came out of a jar of Countrytime, or maybe just maybe it was a frozen can of condensed slush out of the freezer section of the grocery store. Basically it was an ultra sugary, slightly sour drink that didn’t have much actual flavor.
We decided to try making our own lemonade and after buying a half dozen lemons at the market we realized we didn’t really know what we were doing – so I turned to the experts over at What’s Cooking America for some advice. We tried their Perfect Lemonade Recipe and they were right! It really WAS perfect!
The trick is to make a simple syrup. Now, when I was looking at different recipes, I’ll admit that this sounded like a silly extra step to take and I wanted something more convenient. But I realized, how lazy am I to not even want to boil water for 5 minutes!? I tried it. It was worth it. Trust me on this.
roughly 6 medium sized lemons, juiced
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Water
Plenty of Ice Cubes
1. The first step is to make a simple syrup. In a deep sauce pan, pour in your cup of sugar and cup of water and bring to a boil. Once it boils, turn the heat to a low simmer and stir pretty consistently for five minutes. Let the syrup cool to room temperature and then store in the fridge in an air tight container (like a mason jar or tupperware). For this recipe, you want it to cool down for your lemonade, for future needs though, you can store it for up to 6mos at a time in the fridge. So if you want to make lemonade regularly this summer, make a large batch ahead of time and just take what you need when you need it.
2. Now that your simple syrup’s made, (and you’ve squeezed your lemons, right?), all you have to do is get a large pitcher, approx 2 quarts works great, pour in your simple syrup and your freshly squeezed lemon juice, plop a bunch of ice cubes in there (we went with an even dozen large ice cubes), and then fill the container up with cold water. Give it a really good stir and then toss it in the fridge for an hour so all the flavors can mix together.
3. Then, simply, drink it! You will never go back to that nasty powder stuff again! Enjoy!