Spruce up your lemonade game this summer, by making them 4 ways: Old fashioned, Mint, Mango Basil and Ginger. You know you need it!
Here, in the United States, summers are celebrated. Everyone’s like ‘yaay, it’s summer! Woo hoo!’. You write songs about summer, a whole genre of movies, and when you hear the word ‘summer’ everyone’s thinking ‘beaches and bikini’.
Indian Summers! Urgh!
Indian summers, on the other hand are cruel. C-R-U-E-L! It’s bad enough that it’s hot throughout the year, but during the summers you feel like you are burning from the inside out. And thanks to global warming, it’s just getting worse! It’s only a matter of time before spontaneous combustion becomes real. You won’t find a single Indian who goes ‘I cannot wait for summer!’
Now imagine slaving next to a hot stove during these hellish hot summers. Words cannot describe how much we hate cooking in the summers.
Which is why I truly believe that my mother has a little bit of magic in her, because despite the sweltering heat, she would manage to make us ‘surprise lemonades’!
What are surprise lemonades? It’s a lemonade fix that you didn’t know you needed. But take that first sip and you wonder how you ever got through the day without it.
To me, the best part of summers weren’t the mangoes. It wasn’t the watermelons. It was my mother’s surprise lemonades. Because unlike the summer fruits (which you kinda learn to expect), the surprise lemonades always caught us off guard! It was magical!
Old Fashioned Lemonade
There’s a reason why plain old fashioned lemonade will never go out of style. Because it’s a classic. Just lemons, water and sugar. Plus a pinch of salt. Trust me. The salt makes all the difference!
Now this is the version my mother usually made. I am not a huge fan of mint, believe me. So she would usually sneak in mint in places I cannot pick it out. Like in a rice pulao or biriyani. It was annoying. But in a lemonade? Yup! Gimme all the mint you want! You won’t see me complaining.
And I don’t have to tell you how insanely refreshing this is. Seriously!
Mango Basil Lemonade
Have you ever cut into a mango that isn’t just juicy ripe and perfect yet? How annoying is that? Urgh, ruins your day completely, doesn’t it? Well, not anymore! Because it’s those exact disappointing mango wannabes that are perfect in this Mango+Basil Lemonade. Ok yeah, it was inspired by my Mango Basil sorbet, and yes, it is just as delicious as that, but in liquid form!
I don’t usually stock basil at home, but since I discovered Dorot frozen Herb cubes, basil is never far away from me.
I used to hate these as a kid (I mean, what 10 year old loves the heat of ginger?), but I’ve kinda come around to it lately. I think I’m growing up. And if you are having second thoughts, remember, ginger is an excellent digestive. A glass of this after dinner works magic in your gut.
When you make these (which I really think you SHOULD!), be sure to SHARE YOUR PHOTOS with me through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. I’d love to see what you cook from here and will share it with pride on my social media feeds.