The key is to pick out nice lemons, not squishy or slimy, but bright, colorful lemons.
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Make sure the lemons are at room temperature, and roll them under your palms in a back and forth motion to soften them up and break up the pulp and lemon membrane. Cut in half and squeeze the lemons through a strainer into a separate bowl. To find the simple syrup recipe, go to www.herald-mail.com/lifestyle and look for my column.
Scott C. Anderson is associate food service director and chef with Shepherd University dining services in Shepherdstown, W.Va.
1 cup chilled simple syrup
1 cup fresh squeezed lemons (6 to 7)
4 cups chilled water
1 lemon, sliced into rings
4 cups ice
4 sprigs mint
In a large glass pitcher, combine lemon juice and simple syrup, add chilled water, lemon slices and ice cubes. Stir to combine and taste, then adjust with additional syrup or water as needed to bring out the tartness or sweetness.
For a special touch fill an ice cube tray with lemonade and freeze until solid, then add those cubes to each glass, mixed with the plain ice cubes.Add in a sprig of mint per glass and enjoy.
1 1/2 cups simple syrup
1 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups water
6 cups ice
1 orange sliced into circles
Place chilled simple syrup in a large glass pitcher, add lemon and orange juice, stir, and add zests and vanilla.
Place pitcher in fridge to chill and combine for 45 minutes, remove and add water, stir and serve over ice in tall glasses.
Toss in a fresh orange slice for garnish and enjoy.