Monday, July 6, 2009

Summery Sips

There are so many simple pleasures to be enjoyed in the summertime, and one of my favorites has to be that magical combination of fresh-squeezed lemonade and iced tea (a.k.a. an "Arnold Palmer"). The mixture has it all- it's sweet, it's sour, and it's just plain refreshing. When we were growing up, my mom always kept tall pitchers of both in the fridge, and I feel a small pang of disappointment on those summer days when I open my own fridge and don't find them inside.
Here's how to make both drinks from scratch- each is great on it's own, but like any good marriage, they're even better together.

Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade
3 cups fresh lemon juice (from about 20 lemons)
2 cups superfine sugar (not confectioners sugar)
4 cups water

To make: Combine the lemon juice and sugar in a tall pitcher, and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add water and some ice, and garnish with lemon slices (if you want to).
(If you're too lazy to squeeze 20 lemons, try Minute Maid frozen lemonade concentrate- it's almost as good as the real thing).

Classic Iced Tea
8 cups boiling water
10 assorted fruit and black tea bags (I like Red Zinger and English Breakfast).

To make: Remove water from heat, and put in the tea bags. Let steep for 10 minutes, then carefully remove teabags from water. Allow to cool to room temperature, then transfer to a pitcher. Add ice and garnish with mint.

To mix the cocktail, fill a tall glass with ice, and fill 3/4 full with lemonade. Top off with iced tea and add a straw. For something a little more "adult", add a shot of vodka. Ahhh!

P.S. Happy happy birthday to my charming husband!

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