In my childhood, a container of Country Time mix was the closest we ever got to homemade lemonade. You remember Country Time, don’t you? It “tastes like that good old fashioned lemonade”, or so they say. I say it tastes like: Sugar, Fructose, Citric Acid (Provides Tartness), Natural Flavor, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Maltodextrin, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Citrate (Controls Acidity), Magnesium Oxide (Prevents Caking), Calcium Fumarate, Soy Lecithin, Artificial Color, Yellow 5 Lake, Tocopherol (Preserves Freshness). How’s that good old fashioned lemonade? Call me silly but I thought lemonade was lemon juice, water, and sugar.
I never really thought about making lemonade until Deb at Smitten Kitchen posted her Watermelon Lemonade. And then, of course, I had to try it immediately. Much the same way that “when E.F. Hutton talks, people listen”, when Smitten Kitchen posts something so beautiful in its simplicity, I have to try it. And you should too. But don’t take my word for it, try it yourself and see.
Smitten Kitchen Adaptation of Bubby’s
These quantities make enough for two single servings. Really, if you’re going to go to the trouble of pureeing some watermelon, you might as well puree the whole thing. I put the ingredients into separate containers so that all I have to do to refill my pitcher is measure them out and mix them together.
If you don’t have a juicer, lemons are easier to juice when they are warmed slightly. Considering that I juiced about 5 pounds of lemons for this recipe and am sans juicer, I improvised. Here’s how – place four whole lemons in the microwave and nuke them for about a minute. Let them sit on a plate for another minute or so and then CAREFULLY cut them in half. The microwave superheats the juice inside which likes to spurt out as you cut the lemons open. I’ll say that again…BEWARE. HOT. LEMON. JUICE. Using a handheld reamer, the lemon halves will now easily give up their juice and pulp. As Ina would say, how easy is that? Then again, Ina has a juicer.
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 cup fresh watermelon puree, strained through a coarse strainer to remove seeds
- 3 tablespoons simple syrup (recipe below)
- 3/4 cup cold water
Stir watermelon puree, lemon juice, simple syrup, and water together. Serve over ice. If you’re in a party sort of a mood, add a shot of your favorite vokda.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
Simmer sugar and water together until sugar has completely dissolved. Let cool. Store leftover syrup in the refrigerator.
If you’re feeling especially sassy, gently flavor your simple sugar by adding a bit of herb like fresh rosemary or thyme as you heat and cool the sugar and water.