Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Pink lemonade

My summers are not summers if I don’t have a jug or a bottle of this in the fridge. It makes for a great drink when you get back from a long run, or walk, or shopping trip. It is great served before a dinner party, or at a garden party, in wine glasses. It gives a touch of class to any barbecue and chilled tea party. It is the essence of summer sophistication, and I love it.

1 cup icing sugar
3 cups carbonated water
1 cup regular water     
1 cup sweetened cranberry juice
1 cup lemon juice

In a saucepan, melt the sugar in the cup of regular water. Let the syrup bubble for a minute, then take it away from the heat and let it cool down.
In your jug, pour the cranberry juice and the cold syrup and whisk them together. Then add the lemon juice and the carbonated water.

If you have little girls over, a wine glassed filled with this stuff and put in the freezer a couple of hours in advance will make them happy. If you are serving this at a party and want to put it in a jug with ice cubes, make the ice cubes in your own freezer with half cranberry juice and half water. They will freeze normally, but they won’t dilute the lemonade whilst they melt in the jug so the pink colour will stay strong. If you are having this at a grown up reunion you can substitute the carbonated water with Champagne. It won’t be lemonade any more, but nobody will care. 

At a summer garden party, you can serve this with water crackers topped with a dollop of tomato confit and a cube of fresh feta cheese, a tray of freshly sliced fruit, whole wheat crackers covered in green sauce and crumbled hard boiled egg, crudites on a tray and of course ice cream, with sprinkles for the children and a selection of alcoholic fruit for the grown ups.  

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