Lemonade was always a favorite summer drink around the house I grew up in. The stuff in cartons would do, the powdered kind was just UGH (but was alright for camping!), the ones in concentrated sleeves in the freezer section worked for emergencies. But nothing compared to having the fresh-squeezed cup my father would hand me when we got back from the farmer’s market. Always more tart than the syrupy kind you get in restaurants, it would leave your lips puckered and your summer thirst begging for more. Now there are soft drinks that are flavored like lemonade, but contain little more than lemon flavoring and yellow food coloring. Some of these aren’t awful: like I said, I’m no purist. But I like to get back to the basics when I can, and spice it up from there. That’s where the ginger comes in.
Grated ginger steeped in a basic simple syrup creates a delicious addition not only to your lemonade, but also to your favorite sparking water or soda. The taste is subtle at first, leaving you with a lingering burn.
Just like the sun.
Six smallish lemons, juiced.
1 cup sugar
4 cups filtered water
1/4 cup peeled, grated ginger.
In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in the filtered water and bring to a simmer. Add grated ginger and steep for 20 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve or cheesecloth into a pitcher. Add the juice of your six lemons, then add water to top off the pitcher. Stir, chill, and enjoy the little tingle in your nose. This also freezes well for ginger lemonade ice pops, and bourbon makes a fine addition too.
Too spicy? Try adding less of the ginger. Not spicy enough? You know what to do.
Good stuff. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.