Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Luscious Lemonade (with magic ingredients)

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There are many recipes that claim to be the ‘best ever lemonade’ or the ‘perfect  lemonade’. I don’t make those claims for mine. It does, however, contain two magic ingredients that get my oven cleaned...

Well, I take my inspiration from the bit in Tom Sawyer where Tom gets the neighbourhood kids to happily whitewash Aunt Polly’s fence using a little reverse psychology. Ok, it’s more bribery than reverse psychology in this case but hey…

Sigh,” I say to anyone within earshot...
“What’s up, Hester?”they say

“Well,” I say, “I was thinking of making a jug of my special lemonade... you know ... the one that tastes like summer…  the one with the magic ingredients… sigh
“Yes! Yes! Great idea!” they say.

“... but unfortunately, I won’t have time... because the oven really needs cleaning.”
“Oh,” they say.  “I’ll clean the oven, Hester; and you make the lemonade!”

“Really, you don’t have to...” I say, handing them the spray, the gauntlets, the sponge, the bucket, the protective goggles ...

Ok, it's time for me to get on with the lemonade to supply the thirsty worker(s). Salt and star anise are the magic ingredients. You won't taste them but they round out the flavour.

*BEFORE STARTING: How many lemons you use will depend on how juicy they are. I used 6 lemons for this batch. To get 25g of lemon zest for the recipe, I chose two with the most blemish-free skin, scrubbed them in hot water to remove any wax, then used a potato peeler to remove the yellow part of the zest, and further trimmed the strips of peel with a sharp knife to carefully remove any bitter white skin clinging to it. It is much easier to remove the zest BEFORE you squeeze out the juice.
It's easier to remove the zest BEFORE you squeeze out the juice

To make about 500ml of lemonade cordial (2-3 litres, diluted), you will need...
25g lemon zest (prepared weight) yellow part only*
250g caster sugar
250mls freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained to remove any pips or pulp
250mls water
¼ teaspoon fine table salt
1 point of a whole star anise

Take a moment to enjoy the gorgeous aromas

Place the prepared lemon zest and the sugar in a food processor and blitz until the zest is finely chopped.
Place this mixture in a medium saucepan with the rest of the ingredients and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.
Cover and leave to cool. Strain to remove the piece of star anise and any bits of zest and transfer to a sterilised bottle or jar. Sealed, it stores in the fridge for up to a month.
Serve over ice, diluted with still or sparkling water to taste. Cheers!

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  1. That looks so refreshing. Perfect.

    My compliments to the mixologist.

    Blessings, Catherine.

  2. I have never seen such an authentic looking lemonade! Nice and cloudy :) I should really try this sometime!

  3. I wish I could have one large glass now. Looks totally refreshing!

  4. Your lemonade looks perfect, just like the refreshing drink in the movies :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  5. I love this fresh lemonade! It's so perfect for summer and looks very refreshing.

  6. Haha...I love this ploy! Your lemonade looks picture perfect. And I love the "secret" ingredients, too.

  7. Hi Hester, thanks for visiting my humble blog. Wow, your luscious lemonade is so refreshing and inviting. Great to have it especially during summer or a tired day. Thanks for sharing and you have a nice week ahead :)

  8. I'm glad you didn't claim this to be the best lemonade ever, because I'm always skeptical of recipes that claim that.

    But I have to say that it does look mouth wateringly refreshing.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  9. I love the fact you have star anise in here I love that spice I bet it goes really well with the lemon. Lovely recipe :D

  10. What a surprise that star anise is one of your secret ingredients…sounds very refreshing.

  11. This is such a refreshing lemonade...I sure would enjoy a glass of this iced lemonade now.
    Thanks for the recipe...have a great week :D

  12. Your lemonade sounds wonderful. It is the perfect drink for summer. My daughters would love this.

  13. I am not sure which is better, your Tom Sawyer tale or the secret spice. I really enjoy visiting here. Thank you for going the extra mile.

  14. Ah! So refreshing and I have to say that your lemonade looks perfect. I'd have a large glass :)

  15. Dear Hester, your lemonade looks absolutely wonderful - what a very pretty presentation and what an absolutely fabulous recipe!
    Congratulations again on the success of your cookbook! You certainly deserve it!!!

  16. Wow, damn delicious and refreshing lemonade!!!
    the photograph is truely seducing me.....
    i once try to brewed chinese five spice powder (star anise seed mixture) for my lemonade, and it taste great
    i really need to try this recipe too

  17. Could you send those people over? My oven is shocking!! :)

    Star anise sounds so good in this.

  18. I'm loving the magic ingredients in this lemonade! I bet the star anise and the salt take this lemonade to a whole new level of magic! <3

  19. Hester, I completely adore your sense of humor and how it comes out in your blog writing. The lemonade looks terrific, and if people will clean your oven for a taste, it must be fantastic.

  20. This sounds amazing! The best remedy for a hot summer!


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