Summer in a Glass...aka Strawberry Lemonade
I've got strawberries.
I've got lemons.
I've got summer in Central Florida.
Let's fix us some Strawberry Lemonade!
The goal is NOT a grainy, sugar-at-the-bottom-of-the-glass concoction, but RATHER a sweet-tart-berry-lemon bonanza over ice. Sounds fairly simple, right?
This means some version of a simple syrup is required.
It also means plain old sliced berries are not going to cut it.
So here's the skinny.
Measure out 1 quart of water.
Slice up about 6 or 7 nice looking strawberries and toss them in a saucepan with roughly 1/4 cup of granulated sugar.
Let that sit while you attack the lemons. You'll need about 6. First, roll the whole lemon on your cutting board under the heel of your hand to soften it up, then slice it in half width-wise and squeeze out the juice with a citrus juicer or by hand. You'll need 7-8 fluid ounces of lemon juice.
Set the pan with the strawberries on the stove and gently heat. Mash with the back of a spoon or a potato masher as they begin to break down. Once they are thoroughly mashed, add 1/2 cup sugar and 1 cup water and continue to heat gently, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Remove this from the heat, add the remainder of the water and the lemon juice, and pour into a pitcher (if you are ok with chunky style) or a bowl (if you plan to strain the chunks before serving). I don't strain it at this point because I want full contact with my berry mash as the concoction cools. Put the pitcher or bowl in the refrigerator to chill. This won't take too terribly long because you used a low and gentle heat.
When you are ready to enjoy your "summer in a glass", pour it over a large glass of ice (or strain first into a serving pitcher). Funny thing, I dislike pulp in my OJ, but I'm totally ok with chunks of berries.