Got Mushed Raspberries? Make Lemonade.
When the weather turns from spring to summer, we all turn to a cold beverage, an elixir of sorts to help restore the heat-induced balance. For some, it's iced tea. For me, it's lemonade.
The freshly squeezed juice of several lemons sweetened and poured over ice is a tonic unlike no other; lemonade revives me, gives me a chance to momentarily pause and I love the bio-chemical rush of all that Vitamin C.
At this time of year, I keep tabs (and give props to) restaurants that take the extra time to squeeze lemons for ade-freaks like me. Recently, I've had stellar lemonade at Rasika and 2Amys, as well as ade-standbys such as Colorado Kitchen and Pizzeria Paradiso.
On Friday, I treated myself to lunch at Equinox, where I perched myself at the bar. When I made my lemonade inquiry, the bartender responds affirmatively, but instead delivers a glass of punch in a stunning pinky-red shade that could only mean one thing: raspberries.
I've doctored up lemonade with blueberries, another gorgeous combination with a veritable antioxidant boost, but raspberries I had yet to try.
The one caveat about buying raspberries is that you must eat them almost immediately to maximize the visual (and gustatory) experience. A few hours on the counter above 80 degrees, and those precious gems quickly begin to mold and break down into mush.
Should that happen, as it did to me, get busy pureeing and whip up a batch of berry-lemonade. It's the best berry Plan B out there, and a wake-up call for your tired palate.
Share your favorite ways to turn lemons into lemonade, or perhaps you'd like to duke it out with a killer iced tea recipe that will make me change my mind. Bring it on...
1 pint (2 cups) raspberries, picked over
Â½-1 cup granulated or superfine sugar, depending on tartness of berries
1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 6 lemons' worth)
2 cups cold water
In the bowl of a food processor or blender, add raspberries and begin to puree. Add Â½ cup of sugar and combine; taste for sweetness and add more to taste. Keep in mind that the eventual addition of lemon juice will tilt the flavor barometer in the tart direction.
Puree until mixture is smooth. With a rubber spatula, scoop puree out of bowl and into a fine sieve set atop a mixing bowl. Pass puree through sieve, leaving seeds behind. Resulting mixture should be smooth and free of seeds.
Pour berry puree into a half-gallon pitcher and add lemon juice and water. Stir to combine. Pour into glasses over ice. Garnish with lime slices, mint or more raspberries.
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