Homemade Lemonade

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Today, we got the first real summer touch of the year. There is nothing that quenches my thirst on a sunny day quite as well as an icy glass of homemade lemonade. It’s tart & sweet and so refreshing — whether it’s a classic, a fruity lemonade infused with herbs or flowers*, a crisp version blended with sparkling water or a ‘grown-up’ lemonade with a shot of vodka or gin. Here are my secrets to making the perfect pitcher of lemonade. I can smell summer already!

Ingredients:
CLASSIC LEMONADE (makes 5-6 servings)
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups simple syrup
3 cups water
ice

SIMPLE SYRUP
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups water

Instructions:
1. In a small pot combine 2 cups of water with 1 cup of sugar. Cook over medium heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. Once it has dissolved, turn off the heat and throw in your herbs or flowers. Let them sit until the water has cooled.
2. Extract the juice from 5-6 lemons — you’ll need 1 cup of lemon juice. You may need one more or one less, depending on how large your lemons are. (I like a bit of pulp in my lemonade, so I strain the juice and then add back a bit of pulp.)
3. Mix the lemon juice, sugar syrup and 3 cups of (cold) water in a pitcher.
4. If you’re making fruity lemonade, add ½ to 1 cup of fruit puree. You might need to change the amount of sugar you use, depending on the sweetness and tartness of your fruit.
5. Serve over ice, garnished with a few lemon/fruit slices and herbs. (Have you seen these gorgeous floral ice cubes? So gorgeous!)

Do you love homemade lemonade? What are your favorite flavor variations?

*My favorite flavor variations: Peach Rosemary, Blueberry Lavender, Mango Mint (with a hint of lime juice), Pineapple Cilantro (add Jalapeno for a spicy kick), Strawberry Basil & Cucumber-Melon with Mint

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[Classic Lemonade]

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[Fruity Lemonade ingredients]

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[Strawberry & Basil]

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[Mango Mint]

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