When my kids and nieces were little, a really special treat for them was me letting them make homemade lemonade on warm days after school or on the weekends. It was a big production with an assembly line--the older ones cutting the lemons, the younger ones mixing in the sugar or getting the ice--everyone had to be involved, of course! And after all had mixed, stirred, deliberated on sugar amounts and downed a big refreshing glass, they'd all traipse outside to play, leaving me with a sticky cleanup! Ah, the good old days! So when my son was in from CA recently, I thought I'd surprise him with a little update on one of his favorite treats--this deliciously tart and eye-catching blueberry lemonade. He loved it and you will too!
What's wonderful about this concoction, is that both the lemon and blueberry flavors shine through and neither one overpowers the other. I'm not a huge juice or lemonade drinker (I'd rather get my sugar from a decadent dessert) but this lemonade tempts me and is really worth it! Now, with fresh blueberries all over the place, it's truly the perfect time to make this. I mean how great would a pitcher or two of this gorgeous beverage go over at your July 4th barbecue?
All you do is make a simple blueberry syrup consisting of blueberries (duh), superfine sugar and water, letting the blueberries cook down a bit. The whole thing takes about 10 minutes. Then you strain the berries so that all that good blueberry juice goes into the lemonade, but none of the blueberry skins or seeds!
Meanwhile you squeeze the lemons, toss the juice into a pitcher, add the cooled blueberry syrup and a lot of water, stir and chill. I also like to throw in a few extra blueberries for fun!
You can also dip your glass rims in sugar and decorate the sides with slices of lemon and blueberries. A drink that tastes as good as this, deserves the full presentation!
It's tart, it's sweet and "just right" for those lazy summer days when the only effort you want to make is lifting an ice cold glass of this to your lips! And if blueberries aren't your thing, check out my recipe for Strawberry Lemonade, also a wonderful and wondrous summer libation!! Whatever berry you're inclined to, it's definitely time to break out that lemon squeezer!
Fresh Blueberry Lemonade
Makes 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes; Cook Time: 5-10 minutes
1/2 cup superfine sugar (If you can't find this, just grind up regular sugar in your food processor)
1 cup blueberries
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 cups water, divided
Extra blueberries, lemon slices and sugar to garnish (optional)
1. In a medium saucepan, mix together the superfine sugar and 1 cup of the water. Over medium heat, stir until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the 1 cup of blueberries and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the blueberries begin to break apart.
2. Strain the blueberry mixture through a fine sieve into a medium bowl, pushing with a rubber spatula so that you get as much juice out of the berries as possible. Discard the solids and let the mixture cool. This takes about 20-25 minutes but you can speed up the process by placing the bowl in the refrigerator if you're in a hurry.
3. When blueberry mixture is cool pour it into a pitcher, add the lemon juice and 5 remaining cups of water and stir. Add more sugar if necessary as well as additional fresh berries and lemon slices. Place some sugar into a bowl, moisten tops of glasses and coat rims with sugar. Add ice to glass, fill with the lemonade and decorate rim with lemon and berries. Enjoy!
Note: Recipe adapted from Eat, Drink, Love. I dipped the rims in more sugar, 'cause why not?