Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Blueberry Mint Lemonade

If there's one thing I crave more than ice cream during the summer, it's lemonade. I'm not fancy with my lemonade, it usually comes out of a container of powder, isn't measured and usually becomes watered down. You would think that with a lemon love like mine, I would get it right. Well here's to getting it right!

I've had a lot of different lemonades over the summer-- ginger lemonade, rosemary lemonade, regular lemonade, blueberry basil lemonade. It's like the types of rain listed in Forrest Gump. After visiting Sweetgreen a couple of weeks ago with a blogger crew (fo' free to Boston Brunchers folk and I was not bribed or sponsored to make this post), I decided to branch out and make fresh lemonade. I didn't dare attempt their glorious salads, you'll have to try those in person!

I loved the idea of adding some antioxidant purple with blueberries and while I wasn't a huge fan of the basil, mint seemed like a good way to add some cool freshness to this beverage. You know the saying "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade"? Well, life is gonna need to give you a lotta lemons to make that lemonade and you best provide some sugar.

It took 7-8 lemons squeezed to a pulp to create a cup of lemon juice. According to Ina Garten, you then add 4 cups of water and 1/2-3/4 cups of sugar to make plain lemonade. I digressed after that and added a pint of crushed blueberries (a la Sweetgreen's recipe), some mint leaves and lemon verbena (because 7-8 lemons just isn't enough lemony goodness). The blueberries and herbs were crushed together before adding the lemon juice and straining it all together.

The final steps were adding the sugar. I skipped the honey and agave that was used in the blueberry lemonade recipe and just garnished with some cute straws and more herbs. Mason jars are a thing for everything so I used them as cups. Added flair and blogger bonus points!

This was literally consumed on a porch in the summer in a rocking chair, like it was meant to be. It doesn't take much time to make fresh lemonade but if you prefer, you can make the lemonade from concentrate and then add some blueberry juice. You can also check out this recipe from Shutterbean for a boozy alternative. Whatever floats your summer boat!

  • 6-8 lemons
  • 1 pint of fresh blueberries
  • 1/2-3/4 cup of sugar (depending on sweet preference)
  • 2 sprigs of mint
  • 1 sprig of lemon verbena 
  • 4 cups of water
  1. Using a juicer, squeeze the lemons to create 1 cup of lemon juice. 
  2. In a medium bowl, pour the washed blueberries, leaves from 1 sprig of mint and 3-4 leaves of lemon verbena. Using a flat spoon or mallet, gently crush the blueberries to create a stew.
  3. Add the lemon juice to the blueberry mixture and stir.
  4. Strain the mixture into a pitcher or bowl.
  5. Add 4 cups of water to the lemon-blueberry mixture. 
  6. Add 1/2 cup of sugar. If you prefer a sweeter lemonade, you can add another 1/4 cup. 
  7. Mix until the sugar is dissolved.
  8. Serve over ice and garnish with remaining herbs (if desired). 

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