Toasting the New Year: Make mine lemonade
According to some industry experts, sour foods with tart, acidic and bitter flavors are “in” for 2013. I am not a trendy or trendsetting cook. Tonight, however, I’m jumping on the “sour” bandwagon by choosing citrusy beverages that are heavy on the sour and light on the sweet.
To toast the New Year, I’m replacing my usual Kir Royale (crème de cassis and champagne) with an extra-lemony “Ginger Rosemary Lemonade” (see recipe, below). For a less tangy lemonade, use a mix of regular and Meyer lemons. As a bonus, I’ll use the leftover peels to brew Italian canarino or lemon zest tea, a simple and soothing antidote for my holiday over-indulgences.
Wishing you a happy and healthy 2013 and a year of memorable cooking adventures!
Food Fact: Meyer lemons are thought to be a cross between conventional lemons and mandarin oranges. They are less tart, have a thinner rind and yield more juice per fruit than regular lemons. Peak season for Meyer lemons runs from November through March.
Ginger Rosemary Lemonade Recipe from CHEFS Mix
Adapted from Ginger-Tea Lemonade by Giada de Laurentiis
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
Zest from 2 lemons
1-1/3 cup simple syrup (more or less to taste)
1-1/4 cups fresh lemon juice
2 cups cold water
2 cups sparkling water, chilled
Lemon slices for garnish (optional)
Mint sprigs for garnish (optional)
Vodka, whisky, bourbon or gin, to taste (optional)
1. Make the simple syrup: In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar, water, ginger, rosemary and lemon zest. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and let simmer for about 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves completely. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool for 30 minutes. Strain before using. Makes approximately 1-1/3 cups
2. Make the lemonade: In a large jar or pitcher, combine the simple syrup, lemon juice and cold water. Stir to mix. Chill in refrigerator.
3. To serve: When you’re ready to serve the lemonade, stir in the sparkling water. Fill glasses with ice. Pour lemonade into glasses and add lemon slices or mint sprigs for garnish. If too sweet, top off the glass with more sparkling water. To make an adult drink, stir in a shot of vodka, whisky, bourbon or gin. Makes 6 servings
Canarino (Lemon Zest Tea) Recipe from CHEFS Mix
Canarino is Italian for canary, an apt tribute to the drink’s canary yellow color. The zest infuses the water with color and a mild lemon flavor minus the sourness. Italians sip unsweetened canarino to aid digestion or thwart a cold. If you must sweeten the drink, add a little honey.
1. Wash and dry lemon.
2. With a paring knife or vegetable peeler, shave off long, thin strips of lemon zest. With paring
knife, carefully scrape off any traces of white pith from the underside.
3. Place lemon zest in cup or mug. Pour boiling water over the zest. Let steep until liquid turns
canary yellow. Add a little honey, if desired. Makes one serving