Thursday, August 30, 2007


A longhaul trucker named Melvin gave us his recipe for a refreshing lemonade drink. I dubbed it Melvinade, which left a bad taste in my husband's mouth. But the drink itself is pretty tasty -- an orange offsets the tart lemon and it's sweet but not syrupy. It quenches thirst and finishes light and clean -- no "drag" on the on the palate from too much acid or sugar ... at least the way we made it. We didn't follow Melvin's formula to the letter. All props to truckers 'cause they move America and my uncle [and Melvin's girlfriend's father in fact,] rest his soul, was a trucker -- but we think Melvin's ratios are a little out of whack.

He said he puts the juice of three lemons and one orange and 1 1/2 cups of sugar in a two-quart pitcher and fills it with water. When we made it, to the citrus juice we added 3/4 cup of sugar and could probably have used even less. I measured the water exactly the first time we made it; the second time, my husband just topped off the pitcher and I thought it tasted weak. We decided we'd like to use more lemons and oranges when we make it again.

I went online looking to do better and found these recipes that we're sure to make before the snow flies.

Don't freak out at the amount of sugar vs. water. This is a starter that you'll add more water to before serving.

Lemonade With Fresh Mint
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup fresh mint leaves
juice of 2 oranges
juice of 6 lemons
4 teaspoons grated orange peel
fresh orange or lemon slices and sprigs of mint for garnish

Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan; bring to a boil and boil 5 minutes. Remove from heat; cool slightly.

Place mint leaves in a small bowl; add sugar syrup, orange juice, lemon juice, and grated orange peel. Cover and let steep for 1 hour. Strain into a 1-quart container; cover and keep refrigerated.

To serve, mix 1 part lemon mint mixture with 2 parts water. Serve over ice and garnish with lemon or orange slices and sprigs of mint if desired.

Makes about 1 quart syrup, or 3 quarts of lemonade.

Citrus Cooler
6 lemons
3 limes
6 oranges
3 quarts water
1 1/2 cups sugar, or more, to taste

Squeeze the juice from 5 of the lemons, 3 of the limes and 5 of the oranges; pour into a gallon container. Thinly slice the remaining orange and lemon and set aside. Add water and sugar to juices; mix well. Chill thoroughly and keep in refrigerator. Serve on ice with orange and lemon slices.

Makes about 1 gallon of citrus drink or lemonade.

Both recipes are from Diana Rattray on under Southern U.S. Cuisine.

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