x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

When life gives you lemons, make fresh-squeezed lemonade

Fresh and healthy lemonade is delicious - stop buying the stuff that's fake and on supermarket shelves.

Homemade lemonade. Jeff Topping / The National
Homemade lemonade. Jeff Topping / The National

If you’ve never tasted fresh lemonade, you don’t know what you’re missing. It’s just so much more vivid than the supermarket stuff, much more about the lemon and less about the sugar.

True, juicing the lemons can be a pain, but the process becomes nearly painless if you start by softening the lemons in the microwave for 30 seconds. Then all you have to do is add sugar syrup – a mixture of sugar and water, heated until the sugar is dissolved – and some cold water. Done.

In short, it’s hard to top fresh lemonade by itself. Still, for those so inclined, there are plenty of ways to gild this lily. You can infuse the sugar syrup with fresh herbs. You can add seltzer. You can combine it with other fruit juices, including cranberry, apple and pomegranate. Or you can glorify it with flavour-packed ice cubes. Or garnish it with cucumber.

My favourite ice cubes for lemonade (or iced tea) are pureed fruit cubes. Almost any fruit will work. Just purée it, pour the purée into ice cube trays and freeze them. The right tool for this job is a blender, which purées the fruit more completely than a food processor or an immersion blender. Of course, you can still use those other tools if they’re the only ones you have at hand.

If you want to get all fancy, you can strain the puree before you freeze it, although the gain in smoothness will mean a loss in fibre.

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