Whenever I think of Hot Summer days, my mind automatically goes to ice cold sparkling lemonade. Nothing quenches my thirst and cools me down like this recipe.
This lemonade should come with a warning, because once you've made this lemonade, everything else will be just ...... well lemonade.
I found this recipe 23 years ago and I've loved it ever since. People request this lemonade and the recipe probably more than anything else I make (that's not chocolate).
What makes this recipe special you ask? Well, two things actually. Number one, you use the zest of the lemon. The zest contains intense flavor and oils, so this packs a fun little punch of flavor. Number 2, Instead of using water, you use club soda. This is what makes it sparkling lemonade, and quite frankly makes it just more fun. An intense lemon flavor and bubbles in your nose say summer to me. So enjoy!
Zesty Sparkling Lemonade
7- 10 large fresh lemons
grated zest (of 7 of the lemons)
1 cup of sugar or 1 cup of Agave Nectar
1 cup of water (flat)
1 liter of club soda
1). First take the zest off 7 of the lemons, you can do this with a zester, a rasp, or sharp vegetable peeler, place the zest in a heat proof glass bowl. Make sure you just remove the zest and not the white pith, this is bitter.
2). Bring the one cup of flat water to a boil and pour it over the zest. Let if steep for at least 5 minutes and up to 15 minutes
3). Juice the lemons until you have 12 ounces of freshly squeezed lemon juice, set aside.
4). Place the sugar (or agave nectar) in a heat proof glass bowl or pitcher. Strain the zest tea over the sweetener ( the zest tea will be a pretty lemon drop yellow). Stir until the sweetener has dissolved and let it cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
5). Pour the lemon juice and the sweetened zest tea together
6). If you don't plan on drinking the lemonade right away or you want to make it ahead of time, make it up to this point and then store it in the refrigerator, I refer to this as the lemonade concentrate.
7). Remember to open your club soda very slowly (so it doesn't spill everywhere :) and pour it slowly into your lemonade concentrate.
Makes 2 liters
Zesty Sparkling Lemon Ice
Place two scoops of lemon ice, or lemon sorbet in a tall glass, pour the sparkling lemonade over it and garnish with mint and a lemon slice. This is the most refreshing and cooling drink you will ever have :)
In a tall glass (or you can use a martini glass) fill the glass 3/4 full of ice and sparkling lemonade, put a shot of Limoncello in it for a refreshing cocktail. Garnish with fruit and mint.
Italian Lemon Mimosa
In a goblet or large Wine glass, mix Prosecco, and sparkling lemonade for a refreshing take on the orange mimosa. Garnish with lemon slices.