I don’t know when I became the beverage queen, but apparently that’s what I am. In fact, my first batch of homebrew is ready today! (I haven’t tasted it yet; it’s probably going to be terrible!) I don’t usually require fancy drinks: I like orange juice with my breakfast, have green tea as soon as I get to work, drink water with lunch at work, and always have wine with dinner. I also love water and drink it throughout the day. There really isn’t time for me to be drinking anything else. Nonetheless, I’ve become addicted to blueberry lemonade this summer.
I don’t know why I never made lemonade before this year, because I love lemons, and I’ll often order lemonade instead of tea or cola if I’m out. And I always love it when my aunt shows up at the parental homestead with her homemade lemonade. But the idea of juicing all those lemons at once left me daunted. Then a few weeks ago, the grocery store didn’t have any loose lemons for sale and I was forced to choose between buying a whole bag of lemons or not having any lemons at home, and I just can’t go without lemons. I add fresh lemon juice to everything. Basically I was forced into making lemonade. So I bought a contraption: the JUICE-O-MAT! I must confess I’d been looking for an excuse to buy one. It’s the greatest!
I started making lemonade regularly and it was awesome. Then one week I had a berry overload and thought, “what if I put blueberries IN the lemonade?” So I did and it was fabulous. I mean, lemonade is awesome to begin with, and blueberries are awesome, but somehow when you put them together they are even more awesome than the sum of their awesome parts. Blueberry lemonade is the summer drink! And considering it was 95 in the shade today, I’d say it’s pretty intensely summer right now. This stuff really helps.
makes about 1 quart
enough lemons to make 1 cup of lemon juice (about 6)
1 cup blueberries
3/4 – 1 cup sugar (depending on how sweet or tart you like your lemonade)*
about 1 quart of water, divided
* I’ve successfully substituted stevia for a portion of the sugar.
Make a simple syrup by putting the sugar in a small saucepan with 1 cup of water. Heat, stirring, just until the sugar is dissolved, then remove from heat.
Meanwhile, put the blueberries into a blender or food processor and pulverize.
To help your lemons yield more juice, roll them back and forth on a surface, applying pressure with the palm of your hand. Cut each in half and juice them. This is particularly fun using a JUICE-O-MAT!
Stop when you have 1 cup of juice.
Add the blueberry pulp to the lemon juice.
Add enough cold water to make 2 cups. I just do this to thin it out, making it easier to strain.
Add the simple syrup to the juices and whisk.
Pour into a glass pitcher, straining a second time if you are picky, then add enough cold water to total about a quart (you can add more water to make a less intense drink) and stir or shake.
Chill for at least half an hour; an hour is better. Serve with ice, garnished with lemon slices.
This would probably be equally awesome made with raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, or any other berry, but I’ve been so enamored of the blueberry variety I haven’t even bothered to try any others. You can also simply omit the blueberries for plain lemonade – it’s also very delicious.