A British classic, freshly squeezed lemonade is one of the best tastes of summer...
This recipe from Citrus: Recipes that celebrate the sour and the sweet works just as well with limes or with a combination of lemons and limes, as limes add a sherbety element to the flavour.
Simply garnish with citrus slices, cucumber slices, mint leaves and borage owers, and add a good slug of vodka, gin, or (if using limes) rum - should you fancy it!
Makes about 1 litre/2 pints
I N G R E D I E N T S
4 lemons (or 6 limes, or 3 lemons and 2 limes)
100–150g/1⁄2–3⁄4 cup caster (superfine) sugar, to taste
1 litre/scant 4 cups water, or a mixture of water and sparkling water
M E T H O D
Roughly chop the half the citrus and put in a food processor. Finely grate the zest and squeeze the juice of the remaining fruit. Add to the food processor with the sugar (go for the lower quantity if you prefer it sharp, more if you have a sweet tooth) and 240ml/1 cup of the water and blitz until everything is finely chopped. You should find the sugar has dissolved.
Strain through a sieve into a large jug with plenty of ice, and top with the remaining water or sparkling water. Add more sugar to taste, if needed.
V A R I A T I O N S
The Quickest Version
This is a very quick and easy drink, found wherever you get fresh limes. Simply take the juice of 2 limes, mix with 1⁄2 tsp sugar, slightly more of salt and top with sparkling water. I like to add a dash of bitters as well. I am told it makes a very good hangover cure – as a friend of mine says: “Like your own electrolyte sachet but nicer.”
This is unbelievably refreshing. It is based on a Vietnamese recipe, and you can use any citrus which has been preserved the traditional way – I really love limequats for this, but lemons, limes and sour oranges are all good. It is very simple. Put 1⁄4–1⁄2 preserved lemon or similar in a glass along with some granulated sugar – start with a couple of teaspoons. Muddle it all together to release the juices from the citrus, then top with sparkling water. Taste and adjust the sweetness levels if necessary. Try adding cucumber slices for sharp contrast or add a measure of rum or vodka for something alcoholic.
Recipe from 'Citrus' by Catherine Phipps (Quadrille, £20). Photography by Mowie Kay.