When bags of HUGE organic lemons go on sale, I know it's time to make my favorite lemon treats: homemade lemonade with ginger, iced lemon buttermilk cookies and lemon curd. I also figure out ways to use lemon in every meal I make and have found that squeezing a little bit of lemon on so many dishes helps bring out the other flavors and makes everything taste so much brighter.
Yesterday, when I made spring's first jug of lemonade, I was astonished by how much juice each lemon contained. I've found that organic lemons yield much more juice than cruddy, hard conventional ones, so in the end, I believe they are more economical. For yesterday's lemonade, I used less than half of the number of lemons called for by my recipe! So keep that in mind when buying lemons for this recipe. I say you can never have too many lemons, so buy more than you might need and find ways to use them in other dishes.
1-1/3 cups fresh-squeezed lemon juice (this will take from 6-12 lemons, preferably organic.)
7 cups cool water (you can use flat water or fizzy water for a fancier version.)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
3 TBSP fresh ginger, minced (you may use more or less, if you wish)
*this amount of simple syrup will make a tart, not-too-sweet lemonade. You may want to use more if you like your lemonade sweeter, or you can add some agave sweetner.
springs of mint
Combine water and lemon juice in a pitcher and let sit while you make the simple syrup.
Bring sugar, water and ginger to a slow, gentle boil, then turn down the heat and let the mixture simmer for about 7 minutes to allow the sugar time to fully dissolve, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let the mixture sit for at least 15 minutes, to cool and to allow the ginger to fully flavor the syrup.
After syrup has cooled enough, pour through a strainer into the lemon and water in the pitcher and gently stir. When ready to serve, add mint to the pitcher or individual glasses.
LEMON GINGER VODKA COCKTAIL:
Add a shot of vodka to a small glass of lemonade and serve to happy guests.