We've been back in Long Beach about two weeks now and have been thoroughly enjoying ourselves. We're running every morning, eating tons of beans and rice dishes for protein, and my Vitamin D intake is on the rise. I've even been taking my iron supplement again (which I am SUPER forgetful about, normally). With all this running around, and the increasing global-warming-driven rising temperatures, we've been doing our best to stay hydrated. Plus, when your backyard gives you lemons, you paint that shit gold...(okay, Atmosphere reference.) But SERIOUSLY, when your backyard gives you a lemon tree and a bed of peppermint sprigs, you make yourself some delicious homemade lemonade.
I love the addition of peppermint because it adds a delightfully refreshing flavor to the lemonade. The mint plant provides a sweet flavor along with a cool sensation when eating, which is why its often paired with spicy Indian dishes. Mint is also often used in cleanses because of its ability to help eliminate toxins and purify the blood. Plus, it gives you the freshest breath!
The secret to a perfect jug of lemonade is in the simple syrup. By dissolving the sugar first, you don't have any sugar sinkin' to the bottom and changing the flavor (or texture) of the lemonade, thereby giving you the most satisfying, flavorful glass possible. Now, lets make some lemonade!
3/4 cup organic sugar
1 cup water (for simple syrup)
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 cups water (to dilute)
1/4 cup fresh peppermint leaves, chopped
To create a simple syrup, combine sugar and one cup water in a small saucepan. Heat on low, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves completely (about 5 minutes). Do not bring the mixture to a boil.
As the simple syrup is cooking, grab a citrus squeezer and several fresh lemons, usually about three large or 4-5 smaller ones, until you get 1 full cup of juice. Pour freshly squeezed lemon juice into a large pitcher.
Once your simple syrup is ready, pour it into the pitcher with the lemon juice. Add 4 cups of cold water, to dilute. Add in chopped mint leaves and stir to combine. Serve over ice, & enjoy!
*NOTE: If you don't love the idea of peppermint leaves floating in your drink, thats okay. Just strain 'em out through cheesecloth after the pitcher has sat overnight and allowed the peppermint to infuse the lemonade.
If you're lovin' this, you might like to try some of our other lemonade recipes. We have a recipe for both Coconut Sugared Lemonade, a dark twist on the original, and a light, springy Lavender Lemonade. Both are delicious, check 'em out!