Happy Birthday to Arnold Palmer, who turned 82. That’s 41 years lemonade, and 41 years iced tea.Jimmy Fallon
There is just something about a tall glass of iced tea or lemonade that tastes like summertime and feels like a cold blast. Arnold Palmer nailed it with his signature beverage.
Red and white gingham checked tablecloths; turned over crates and handpainted “Lemonade” signs; old-fashioned wicker picnic baskets; bicycles with banana seats, flower baskets and vinyl streamers on the handlebars; and Grandpa rocking on the front porch whetting his whistle …. it’s magical how all of that can fit into one glass.
A fresh lemonade with the perfect balance of pucker and sweetness isn’t just nostalgic, it stands the test of time for any outdoor BBQ, picnic or patio fare. When the temperatures rise, a cold glass of sunshine hits the spot everytime! And particularly in the South, you know there is nothing like a cold iced tea—whether sweet or unsweet—to sip in the company of friends and family.
Join me in the backyard for some summer refreshing drinks. Fix yourselves a great BBQ chicken meal, grilled rib-eye steak or pork sliders. Top it off with one of these non-alcoholic refreshers. With a little ingenuity and verve, they might just be a new cocktail libation after the kids go inside and the adult party continues with the music outside.
It’s time to start the summer with renewed intention and hopes for a bright season ahead. Bring your bare feet, your bathing suits, your smiles and your thirst. Here’s to the best summer yet!
Yield: 2-1/2 Quarters
2 cups superfine sugar
1 cup hot water
1-1/2 cups fresh lemon juice
1-1/2 liters chilled sparkling water, preferably lemon flavored
Fresh lemon slices for garnish
Fresh mint or thyme sprigs for garnish
- In a large pitcher, whisk together sugar and 1 cup hot water until sugar dissolves. Stir in lemon juice.Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until cold.
- Just before serving, stir in sparkling water. Garnish with lemon slices and/or mint sprigs. Serve over ice.
Suggestion: Add Absolut Citron for the adult version.
WATERMELON & STRAWBERRY LEMONADE
8 cups cubed seedless watermelon
1 cup fresh strawberries, halved
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (approximately 4 lemons)
2/3 cups water
In two bathes, add watermelon, strawberries, water, sugar, lemon juice to a blender. Cover and blend until smooth. Strain mixture through a sieve into a pitcher. Chill until ready to serve.
Suggestion: Add Grey Goose Vodka for the grown-ups.
CHAMOMILE STRAWBERRY ORANGE COLD BREWED TEA
8 chamomile tea bags
12 cups filtered water, room temperature
2 small juice oranges (thin-skinned), cut into slices, seeded
24 large strawberries, halved
4 teaspoons honey
4 teaspoons hot water
- Place tea bags and water in large pitcher or two. Place orange slices and strawberry halves in pitcher. Refrigerate 12 to 24 horus.
- Remove tea bags from pitchers. Combine honey and 4 teaspoons hot water. Put honey in pitchers, divided equally if using more than one pitcher.
- Pour into glasses and enjoy!
GINGER PEACH SODA
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 very ripe peaches
2 liters Seltzer Water or Topo Chico
16 fresh mint leaves
Additional peaches for garnish
Mint sprigs for garnish
- In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, bring 1 cup water, sugar and ginger to a gentle simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove simple syrup from heat, cover, and steep for about 30 minutes.
- Over a medium bowl, pour syrup through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing minced ginger against sieve with the back of a spoon to extract all the flavor. Discard ginger. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until well-chilled.
- Place 5-6 slices of peaches into tall glass. Lightly press peaches with the back of a wooden spoon to release their juice. Pour about 3-4 tablespoons of chilled syrup over peaches. Top with ice cubes, then seltzer water. Stir to distribute syrup, peach juice and seltzer evenly. Garnish with an additional peach slice and fresh mint.
Suggestion: Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon will kick this one up a notch…or two!