Hope you’re well and enjoying this glorious weather! One of the guys at work said he’s ready for autumn earlier this week. I was in shock. Like, really? I’m definitely not there yet, don’t know if I’ll ever be there, give me warmth and sunshine from now till the end of the year and I’ll still want more!
On that note, this weekend, I whirled up the perfect drink to enjoy whilst basking in the sunshine. I’m talking, strawberries, mint, lemon, all muddled together to form the ideal accompaniment to a light summer meal / BBQ. Mmmm… Pretty much the essence of summer, captured in a sip.
Just a heads up: this recipe may vary a little for you, depending on how sweet your strawbs are / how juicy your lemons are etc. I quite like my lemonades a little sour and the recipe reflects that. But if you have a sweet tooth, feel free to up the sugar in the syrup / reduce the number of lemons. Give it a little taste before you serve and adjust accordingly. Also, if you’re serving guests, you could jazz up the drinks further by lining the glasses with a sugar rim and wedging on a slice of lemon. But as usual, I only thought about these things after it was long gone.
- Juice of five lemons
- Zest of one lemon
- 150g granulated sugar
- 200ml water (still water, tap water is fine)
- 150g + 50g strawberries, separated
- Fresh mint leaves, to taste (I used 5/6 sprigs)
- 600ml sparkling water
- Begin by making a simple syrup, add the sugar, still water and zest of one lemon to a saucepan and heat on medium. Swirl once or twice whilst heating. When it reaches a boil (the sugar should have dissolved), switch off the gas and set aside the syrup to cool to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, add 150g of strawberries and blitz until they’re completely liquidised. Feel free to strain the excess pulp and seeds with a sieve, I’m lazy so I didn’t bother! Set aside.
- Take the remaining 50g of strawberries and chop into small cubes. Set aside.
- Tear off the mint leaves from the sprigs. Set aside.
- Once the syrup is cooled down. Add the strawberry juice, chunks and mint leaves, followed by the juice of five lemons. Stir to combine and pop in the fridge for a few hours / overnight to cool down, infuse and become one.
- When you’re ready to serve, add the strawberry concentrate to a pitcher / bottle. It may have separated as the pulp is a different consistency, just give it a shake / stir to redistribute.
- Add plenty of ice, and top up with sparkling water and serve!