Baking & cooking with an enthusiastic amateur
I’ve never been good at making lemonade. As my roommate can tell you, my attempts have usually been too watery and too tart to be palatable, mostly just lemon-flavored water. Accordingly, I’d largely given up on it, despite my love of fresh-squeezed lemonade.
With this recipe, I think I’ve redeemed myself in the realm of sugary citrus drinks. My roommate proclaimed it was neither too tart nor too watery, but instead a nice blend of sweetness and strong lime flavor. Thanks to making and using a simple syrup, like many of the slightly more sophisticated lemonade recipes call for, the sugar blended it seamlessly, and the bit of lime zest adds extra flavor and flecks of color.
I got 10 limes for just $1, but in this recipe I calculated the cost as $0.30 each, which is more like the price you’d see at Trader Joe’s versus the great deal I got. Luckily sugar is cheap and water is free, so your other ingredients hardly increase the cost at all!
1/3 cup granulated sugar
First, look at your limes. Pick the very prettiest one and set it aside. Use this one as garnish. Take the second prettiest lime, ideally one with a deep, even skin, and (after rinsing it) zest it. You can use the fine section of a regular cheese grater; just be careful to only get off the outside green layer and avoid scraping off flecks of the pale inner rind, which is bitter.
In a nonstick saucepan, combine the sugar, 1/3 cup of water, and lime zest. Heat slowly on medium-low heat, stirring often, until it comes to a simmer. Once the sugar is fully dissolved, turn off the heat. Let it cool entirely.
Juice the limes, all except for the one set aside for garnish. The one you used for the rind should be juiced as well. The limes should yield roughly 2/3 cup of juice.
Once the syrup has completed cooled, combine the lime juice, syrup, and 3 cups of water. Stir well. Chill in the fridge until serving. Cut the reserved lime into thin slices to garnish the sides of the glasses you’re using.
Makes four small glasses of limeade.
Cost per glass: $0.65
Nutrition per glass: 74 calories, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 18g carbs, 0g fiber, 0g protein