Hi there, lemonade weather.
This summer, instead of reaching for artificially flavored, store-bought powder, I’m going to make fresh lemonade from scratch. With actual lemons. Then I might spike it with peppermint, ginger, coconut or rosemary and pour it over lots and lots of ice.
My inspiration comes from a bright, floral-scented Lavender Lemonade I had at The Farmhouse last week (see photo) and from these super-refreshing recipes, gathered by The Star’s food editor Jill Silva and published in the paper’s Food section last summer.
Among them: Eden Alley's peppermint lemonade, the Beer Kitchen's rosemary-infused lemonade, La Parrilla's Brazilian lemonade and Little Freshie's Rosewater Lemonade. There’s even a rich saffron-spiked recipe from Chef Kamal, the man behind Yummy’s Choice hummus.
I’m a huge fan of La Parrilla’s coconut-y recipe, which is more of a limeade than a lemonade. It tastes almost as good as an afternoon at a palm tree-lined beach feels. Drink up.
Eden Alley's Peppermint Lemonade
Makes 2 1/2 quarts
1 lemon, rinsed not peeled, juiced through an extracting juicer (see tip)
1 1/3 cups fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2 drops organic peppermint extract
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup very hot water
8 cups cold water
Fresh mint and lemon slices, for garnish
Mix the concentrate ingredients in a gallon-size container. For the syrup: Combine sugar and hot water, stirring to dissolve. Add sugar water mixture and cold water to the concentrate; "stir well to heaven." Serve lemonade over ice, garnished with fresh mint and lemon slices.
Preparation tip: If you do not own a juicer, slice two lemons and allow the slices to infuse flavor into the lemonade.
Per (1-cup) serving: 67 calories (none from fat), no fat, no cholesterol, 18 grams carbohydrates, trace protein, 1 milligram sodium, trace dietary fiber.
La Parrilla's Brazilian Limonada
Makes about 1 gallon
5 fresh limes, peeled
1 fresh lime, unpeeled
1/2-inch fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
1 (15-ounce) can Coco Lopez cream of coconut, plus scant 1/2 cup (or 1/4 can)
3 cups granulated sugar
1 gallon water
Sliced limes for garnish
In a blender, puree peeled and unpeeled limes, ginger, Coco Lopez, sugar and water, working in batches if necessary. Strain the mixture into a pitcher, pressing the solids with the back of a spoon to extract all the flavor, then discard. Serve lemonade over ice. Garnish with a lime wedge.
Shopping note: Coco Lopez is a product from Puerto Rico. Look for it in supermarkets near the drink mixes.
Per (1-cup) serving: 210 calories (10 percent from fat), 2 grams total fat (trace saturated fat), no cholesterol, 50 grams carbohydrates, trace protein, 6 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber.
Beer Kitchen's Rosemary-Infused Lemonade
Makes 1 1/2 quarts
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups water
1 fresh sprig rosemary, plus more for garnish
2 cups fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Lemon wheels, for garnish
Heat the sugar, water and fresh rosemary sprig to a boil. Remove the rosemary and pour the mixture into lemon juice; refrigerate. When cool, mix equal parts lemonade mixture and soda water in a glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lemon wheel and rosemary sprig.
Per (1-cup) serving: 308 calories (none from fat), trace total fat (no saturated fat0, no cholesterol, 81 grams carbohydrates, trace protein, 5 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber.
Source: Robin Begtohl
Little Freshie Sparkling Rosewater Lemonade
Available at Little Freshie through the month of August.
Makes 1 serving
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup warm water
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons rosewater
Lemon slices, culinary rosebuds or rose petals, for garnish (see tip)
Combine sugar in warm water until dissolved, then add lemon juice and rosewater. Fill a 12-ounce glass with ice. Add 6 tablespoons of the concentrate to the glass then top off with sparkling water. Stir and garnish with lemon slices, rosebuds or rose petals.
Shopping tip: Lindsay Laricks, owner of the West Side's Little Freshie, buys her rosewater at Al Habashi Mart in the City Market. She buys culinary rosebuds and rose petals at Phoenix Herb Co. in Kansas City
Per (1 ½-cup) serving: 13 calories (none from fat), no fat, no cholesterol, 3 grams carbohydrates, trace protein, trace sodium, trace dietary fiber.
Chef Kamal's Saffron Lemonade
Makes about 3 quarts
1/2 cup hot water
1 loose teaspoon saffron
1/2 cup ice
9 cups cold water
1 1/2 cups fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup orange blossom water
1 tablespoon rosewater, optional
Place saffron threads in a glass measuring cup and pour hot water over them. Cover measuring cup with aluminum foil and allow saffron to steep for 30 minutes. Add ice to infused mixture to cool before adding to lemonade.
Combine cold water, lemon juice, sugar, orange blossom water and rosewater, if desired. Add saffron infusion and stir well. You may strain the saffron threads or, as a garnish, leave them floating in the lemonade. Serve lemonade over ice.
Shopping tip: Orange blossom water and rosewater are sold at Mediterranean grocery stores. Kamal purchases his at Pak Hallal in Lenexa.
Per (1-cup) serving: 105 calories (none from fat), trace fat (no saturated fat), no cholesterol, 28 grams carbohydrates, trace protein, 1 milligram sodium, trace dietary fiber.
Have a lemonade recipe or recommendation to share? Tweet us @chowtownkc.
Enterprise reporter Sarah Gish writes dining and bar guides for Ink magazine. She also writes a monthly cooking story for The Star and tweets about food at @sarah_gish.