summer. I always thought her Kool-Aid was way better than any other moms because she always put a can of lemonade concentrate in her version. Now that I am a mom I would love my daughter to have memories like that. I don't have Kool-Aid in the house, and I never will, but I wanted to find a drink that Ashlyn could love just as much, but the ingredients could not be mystery powder in a packet and the cup of refined sugar that you add to it. So, this is my version made with plant based ingredients and the taste will definitely remind you of summer.
Now, last year was my first attempt at making homemade lemonade and it was a sticky sugary mess! The lemonade tasted good, but it was a lot of work, a lot of lemons, and a lot of sticky clean up for a little bit of juice. I told myself that I had to find a better way or we would just not have lemonade in our house. So, thinking back to my mom's Kool-Aid I decided to make a flavored lemonade that should give me better results and boy did it ever! Now, this is a little more work than opening up a can of frozen concentrate, but I am happy to do this work to get the results. There are two steps to the process, making the simple syrup and then making the strawberry lemonade. Once you make the simple syrup it does make enough for 2 batches of lemonade.
Makes 1 1/2 cups of simple syrup
-1/2 c Sucanat *this is unrefined sugar that I find at Whole Foods, so if you can't find it you can use white sugar or just increase the amount of honey
-1/2 c honey
-1 c water
1. Put all of the ingredients into a sauce pan and simmer on medium for 10-15 minutes making sure to stir often. After about 15 minutes you should end up with about 1 1/2 cups of dark simple syrup. Sorry forgot to take pictures of this.
2. Cool before using.
-zest of one lemon
-3/4 c water
-1 1/4 c fresh lemon juice (strained) about 6 lemons
-3/4 c simple syrup
-4 c cold water
1. Put the strawberries, zest, and 3/4 cup of water into a saucepan and simmer on medium heat for 15-20 minutes until the strawberries break down. About 10 minutes into the process take a potato masher and mash the strawberries in the pan while continuing to cook. Once you get a strawberry "sauce" remove from the heat and cool.
2. Put the lemon juice and simple syrup into a pitcher and stir.
3. Strain the cooled strawberry "sauce" into the pitcher pressing down on the strained goop (yes, that is a technical term) to get as much juice out of the strawberries as possible.4. Add 4 cups of cold water to your pitcher and mix.
5. You will end up with some pulp at the bottom of the pitcher if it stands for too long, but a good stir will solve that problem.
6. Chill to your desired temperature and enjoy!