After one of the best July 4ths on record (70s in Sacramento in July? unbelievable) we’re gearing up for another heat wave. If the smoke clears enough for us to go outside again, I’ll make another batch of this wonderful limeade. There are 3 tricks to this simple drink. The first is to make simple syrup by boiling water with the sugar first, so that the sugar is completely dissolved. The second trick is to infuse the simple syrup with some of the zest from the limes; this makes it taste even limey-er (yes, not a word, but you get my drift). Finally plop some fresh mint sprigs in the serving pitcher, and besides being half-way to a mojito, you have a cheerfully refreshing summer drink. One that my nephew Austin has mentioned 3 times in the last 2 days as being “like really good”.
Infusing the sugar syrup with lime zest is a great way to bring extra lime flavor to your limeade.
- Grated zest of one lime (about 1 Tbsp)
- 1 cup lime juice (from about 4-6 Persian limes)
- 3/4 cup to 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 cups water
- Several sprigs of fresh mint
1 In a small saucepan bring to a boil the sugar, one cup of water, and the lime zest. Once the sugar is dissolved (which it should be by the time the water boils), remove from heat and let cool for for a few minutes. The amount of sugar is a guideline, it depends on how sweet you like your limeade and how tart your particular limes are.
2 Place a strainer over a bowl, or wide-mouthed serving container, and pour the sugar syrup through it, straining out the lime zest. Add the lime juice and 2 cups of water. Taste for sour/sweet balance. If too sweet, add a little more lime juice. Add several sprigs of fresh mint.
Chill, or serve immediately over ice.