Saturday, May 10, 2014

How to Make Real Pink Lemonade for Mom

What’s in pink lemonade?  Could be anything but most recipes just add red food coloring.  What’s  in red food coloring? You can do better for Mom. 

We put an ounce or two of ruby red cranberry juice in our lemonade to make it blush.  Pomegranate or cherry juice will work too.  It’s a small amount so the flavor is not affected.

You can do this with any good store bought lemonade made with real- not artificial- sweeteners.  There are more brands available that have purer natural ingredients like actual sugar.  Or, because it’s Mother’s Day, you could make lemonade from scratch. It is very easy. 

First you make simple syrup, which is sugar dissolved in boiling water.  Make it about an hour ahead of time or replace some of the water in the lemonade recipe with ice to cool your drink down quickly.   Then you squeeze some lemons and mix in cold water with the simple syrup.  Spike with cranberry juice to make it pink.

Pure Lemonade
Makes about 32 ounces
½ cup fresh lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
3-4 cups cold water
3-6 ounces simple syrup (more if your like your lemonade a little sweeter)

Squeeze lemons to make ½ cup juice.  Pour juice into a pitcher.  Add 3 cups of water and 3 ounces simple syrup.  Taste.   Add more water or syrup to suit your palate.  We like ours lemony and not too sweet.  We use 3/12 cups of water and 3 ounces of simple syrup for every 1/2 cup of lemon juice. 

Make it Pink!
Add 2-4 ounces cranberry or pomegranate juice

Simple Syrup
Makes about 6 ounces
½ cup sugar
½ cup water

Combine water and sugar in a heavy bottomed pan.  Mix to combine and bring to a boil.  Lower heat to simmer and stir to dissolve sugar.  Remove from heat as soon as liquid is no longer cloudy.  Allow to cool before using.  Caution the mixture is very hot.

Simple Syrup will keep.  Store it, covered, in the refrigerator.
You can add flavor to simple syrup while it is still hot.  Try one of these to get pure natural flavors: slices of ginger, a vanilla bean pod, sprigs of fresh mint or citrus rind (no pith).  Remove the flavoring ingredients before adding to lemonades, seltzer or mixed drinks. 

Post Script
Recently I’ve heard from a few friends and colleagues who tell me they are finally getting off artificial sweeteners  I am so proud of everyone who is making this effort and I know it is hard.  If you medically able to enjoy real sugar you will find that you are more satisfied and, over time, you will use less and less sugar.