“The ramblings and grumblings of author Ad Hudler”

Making Lemonade from Lemons
Thursday, August 21, 2008

I often get asked to be a "celebrity judge" at various events in my community, and, being one of the most judgmental people I know, I always feel compelled to say yes. It is my responsibility as your Self-Appointed Critic-At-Large.

I recently had the pleasure of judging a summertime cocktail contest sponsored by Slow Food Southwest Florida .
I drank some odd and wonderful things, but my favorite was the eventual winner: Cindy Pierce's basil lemonade. I stopped by her house to take her picture and ask her for the recipe.
First you make the syrup:
5 cups fresh basil leaves (The recipe called for 4, but Cindy increased it.)
2 cups sugar
4 cups water
Zest from 10-12 lemons

Bring all ingredients to a boil in a medium size saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Let stand at room temperature, covered, for one hour, then transfer to an airtight container and chill for at least an hour. Strain through a sieve into a bowl, pressing hard on solids. (Covered and chilled, syrup will keep up to five days.)

Then you make the lemonade:

4 cups basil lemon syrup
4-5 cups cold water
2 1/2 cups fresh-squeezed lemon juice (I used a dozen lemons)
Garnish: fresh basil sprigs, lemon zest strips

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher and serve immediately over ice.

Ad Again: The basil gives the lemonade a green, outdooors-in-summer fragrance and taste, reminiscent of freshly-cut grass. Cindy found the recipe on Epicurious.com, one of my favorite food websites. It's basically the best of Gourmet and Bon Appetit magazines, a searchable database of all their recipes. It's a great place to troll for dinner ideas before heading to the market on your way home from work.
Oh ... Cindy's husband, Kevin, who blogs his current-events-related poems at News and Verse, says the lemonade gets even better when a shot of Maker's Mark bourbon is added!


Blogger Libby McMillan said...

I can vouch for the delicious taste of Ms. Pierce's lemonade....but confess I like Kevin's version even better.
Just the southern girl in me, I suppose. ;-)

August 23, 2008 at 8:44 AM  
Blogger Kevin Pierce said...


In prepping her citrus for herb lemonade,
A conclusion's already foregone:
That lemons best zest with some depth of the blade
As they're better pithed off than pithed on.

Light verse, ripped from the headlines

August 23, 2008 at 11:16 AM  

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