June 23, 2015

Sparkling Mint Lemonade

Only one lemon can be the chief. He gets the funny hat.
It's that time of year again. Summer is here! Which means that it's time for the traditional summer activities of sticking to our furniture, wondering how the hell it can be so HOT, and reminiscing fondly about the cold that we were so incredibly sick of a month ago. But don't melt into a gross puddle yet, because there is a solution. Well, there are a lot of solutions. Blasting the AC or moving to Antarctica come to mind. But the former is bad for the environment and also super expensive, and the latter means you have to deal with uppity penguins. So that leaves us with making something ridiculously refreshing to guzzle down as fast as we can until we forget that we're pretty much living in Mad Max times.


4 largish Lemons
2 cups Sugar
1/2 cup fresh Mint 
An unspecified amount of Water
An equally unspecified amount of Seltzer Water

The first thing you're gonna need to do is peel 3 of your lemons. Normally this is the part where I'd make some crack about the various utensils you could use, and sum it up by adding that you could just man up and use your hands. And believe me, I've got the urge to do just that. But you're looking to get the actual peel (The yellow, fragrant, awesome part) off of the lemons, without picking up any of the pith (The white, bitter, gross part). And the best way I've found to do this is with a standard vegetable peeler. Take your lemon peel, along with your Sugar, 2 cups of Water, and the shards of your masculinity, and put them in a pot over medium heat. Stir occasionally, until the sugar dissolves, then turn the heat off and let it steep for about 30 minutes (If you've been paying attention over the last forever, you might recognize this as a flavored Simple Syrup, kind of like we made for our Holiday Spiced Schnapps. Congratulations on your alacrity! It earned you some nice knowledge, exchangeable for prizes at the gift shop).

Once your lemony syrup is nice and cooled, you're gonna add about 1.5 cups of it into a large pitcher. You can add more or less depending on how sweet you like things. At 1.5 cups, you'll end up with a result that's a little sweet, but mostly just crisp and refreshing. Adjust according to your preferences. I'm sure it won't end up being worse than what I painstakingly prepared for you. Regardless of the crushing weight of your hubris, it's time to add in your Mint, and muddle the heck out of it. For those unfamiliar, muddling is essentially taking a big stick and squishing the mint until it bruises, but doesn't tear into little bits (Yes, technically the word can describe any type of stirring, but this is how it's commonly used in regards to making drinks. So I don't wanna hear it.) Once your mint is bruised and probably frightened, add in the juice from all 4 of your lemons, and 1 liter of water. Stir this mixture to combine, and then plant it in your fridge for at least an hour. Why? So that all the flavors can get to know each other, and your drink will taste awesome instead of just good. Because drinks that are just good don't make you forget that the sun is trying to melt your face.
Completely non alcoholic! Which is why I left some room
at the the top of the glass!

When you're serving, take some cups and fill them with ice. If you want to be all fancy and awesome like me, take some slices of lemon, and shove them all down in those icy cups. Then get your pitcher of sweet lemony goodness, and pour it about 3/4 of the way up each of those cups. Finally, top them off with your Seltzer Water. Bonus points if you add a sprig of mint all up on top of your drinks to make them look even better. Of course, all of this is academic because it's burning hot outside, and by now you've probably given up on the concept of individual cups, poured some Seltzer directly into the pitcher, and started chugging. I hope you're proud of yourself.

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