It’s nice and hot, and time to make some sweet, summertime drinks that your friends and family will love.
Of the two, the strawberry-lemonade was the first to go. It’s fun, super easy and real.
It’s not necessary to buy the concentrated version since this takes maybe a few more moments to prepare and tastes so much better. You’re going to love serving this!
Making a sugar-rimmed glass, takes it over the top and I’ll show you the best way to do that too.
Real Strawberry Lemonade Recipe by Mili’s Sweets
Here’s what you’ll need:
6 lemons, organic is best
2 quarts filtered water
2 cups whole strawberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
slices of a lemon as garnish
tools: pitcher, small sieve, juicing device, knife for cutting fruit
Here’s what you’ll do:
Measure two quarts of filtered water. I use a standard pitcher and fill to the top, since I know that all standard sized pitchers hold 2 quarts (8 cups).
First thing to do is prepare your strawberries. Fresh or frozen, whole strawberries will be used. I prefer to use frozen since I always have them on-hand. My family loves strawberries, but for some reason, we have a hard time keeping them nice in our fridge. If they are not eaten within a day, they start going bad. When I know they that all of them won’t be eaten, I’ll clean them, and freeze them in a plastic storage bag, to use for drinks and sauces.
If you are using fresh, just wash them, remove the stems and set aside in a bowl. Cover them with water from the 2 quarts you have reserved. If you are using frozen, cover with water from the 2 quarts you reserved and microwave for one and a half, to two minutes. Set aside. You want them to be soft and for their natural juices to seep into the bowl.
Next, it’s time to squeeze the juice of the lemons into a sieve, to leave out the seeds. Have you ever noticed how many seeds are in organic lemons, or lemons you receive from someone’s tree, versus the ones you’ll pick up at Costoc? There’s something comforting about the seeds. It reminds me of the fruits from my Nonna’s garden.
Mix in the half cup of sugar.
Add what you have left of the reserved, filtered water.
Next, smash the strawberries, one at at time, so that they come apart, or flatten. Place them into your serving container.
Pour in the juice from the strawberry bowl.
Add slices of one lemon, as garnish.
Put ice into the pitcher or into individual cups, as desired.
It’s really fun to have a sugar-simmed glass with this drink. Here’s the easiest way to do it.
How to make a sugar-rimmed glass:
Take two shallow plates. One with water, the other with granulated sugar. First dip the rim of the cup in water and then the sugar. You can do this about an hour in advance, if you are planning a party.
Let’s talk peaches! If you’ve been following my recipe posts this summer, you’ve noticed how many ways I’ve been using peaches, while the fruits have been in season. I managed to freeze some extra peach nectar from the recipes I’ve made.
To add to the long list of treats I’ve been making with peaches as the star ingredients, (peach cobbler, peach baked alaska, peach-brulee french toast, peach reduction/syrup, canning cooked peaches, etc.) I’d thought I’d add something refreshing, with no need to turn on the oven: peach-nectar iced tea. I think you’re going to like this one too! It’s geared for adults, since tea typically has caffeine, but you can brew any tea you wish.
Peach-Nectar Iced Tea by Mili’s Sweets
Here’s what you’ll need:
4 quarts filtered water (16 cups)
4 tea bags (I used Lipton cold-brew.)
12 oz. prepared peach nectar, or all-natural peach juice concentrate
2 fresh peaches, sliced
Here’s what you’ll do:
Take out the frozen peach nectar. It will be the sweetener for the tea. Allow it to soften and scoop it into the bottom of the container for dispensing the drink. The nectar is made when peaches are cooked in water and sugar. I reserve it and whatever is not used is frozen, for the exact recipe, please see my peach cobbler recipe.
Next, brew the tea. I brewed the tea, two bags at a time, with my 2-quart pitcher. Fill the standard sized pitcher with filtered water (8 cups) and place in two bags of tea. Remove them after 3 minutes. Pour it over the peach nectar. Then, brew two more bags the same way and pour that into your large serving container.
Stir to dissolve the frozen nectar.
Prepare two peaches by making slices around the pit. Add the peach slices to the tea.
You can add ice to the container, or have it on the side, for guests to add their own portions.
A little side-note:
I’m a bit of a crazy person and it’s all right. I think as parents, we all have things that we avoid, and I have a thing against high fructose corn syrup. I just don’t like it. I know that I have corn syrup in my pantry, since it works best for making caramel/candy, but for every-day, packaged products from the store, I don’t let it happen. If my kids want something from the store, it’s always understood that we have to look at the ingredients to first see a) that it does not contain nut products and b) that it does not have HFCS.
I have found that there are a lot of choices for frozen, all natural juice concentrates that do not contain HFCS, but I’m not sure that a frozen lemonade concentrate exists in a store, without it. So, if we’re going to make sweet/treat drinks like the ones I’ve posted, they will be made from scratch. No one is complaining! I think you’ll find that these are fun, simple crowd pleasers, for a hot summer day or anytime.