A refreshing summer drink made with simple syrup, whole strawberries, lime and lemon juice. Plain lemonade cannot beat this!
I was never a huge fan of lemonade. I think it’s because we didn’t grow up with fresh lemons being something that was ever brought into our home. As in many of the little parables in my recipe posts, fresh lemons were just one of those foods that were never seen! The first time I had a real, whole lemon in my hands was around the age of twelve.
The same can be said for fresh limes. Now, whenever you go out to eat, if you happen to order a pop (soda), there’s bound to be a lemon or lime wedge hugging the rim of the glass. Nope, Dear Reader, lemonade or limeade in my childhood came in the form of a short, stubby can from the frozen food section. My mom would stir it into tap water and serve it with ham and cheese sandwiches. At least that’s what I remember of it!
I do, however, remember the little plastic lemon-shaped bottle that took up space on that coveted little shelf on the inside of our fridge door. Do you know the one I’m talking about? It has a bright green lid! That’s the only lemon “juice” I can remember. My mom used to buy that for baking. Other than in a cake or a sweet and sour sauce, it was never used.
So, maybe that’s why I never really favoured the taste of lemonade. Now, however, I love it! The difference between prepared lemonade from the frozen food section and lemonade made with freshly squeezed lemon juice is indescribably different. The same goes for lemonade’s less popular sister, limeade. But, if you make it from fresh limes, it’s a totally different ballgame.
Now, take your favourite lemonade and add to it a simple syrup and a whole bunch of fresh strawberries. The result is a sweet and tart strawberry drink with a hit of lemony and limey freshness.
There’s a few steps that I feel are really important to getting this drink just right. Unlike most lemonade recipes, which instruct you to stir sugar into the mixture, I agree with Sara who blogs at Dinner at the Zoo. Her Strawberry Lemonade was the inspiration for this Strawberry Lime Lemonade. At her recommendation, I made a simple syrup first by combining some of the water and the sugar into a sauce pan over medium heat. I stirred it until the sugar was completely dissolved and then allowed it to cool.
The next thing I’d recommend is straining the strawberry mixture after you have blended it. Now, this might be dependent on what type of blender you own. For example, if you own a very powerful blender – like a Ninja – you can probably skip the need to strain. I don’t own a Ninja, so I opted to strain the strawberry mixture to get rid of the seeds. Just use a fine-mesh strainer and pour the mixture from the blender right into the pitcher. It’s easy!
I would not recommend adding any of the fruit garnish to the pitcher while you’re waiting for the Strawberry Lime Lemonade to cool in the fridge. I would also not add in any ice. The ice will obviously melt and dilute the flavour of the lemonade. And adding the garnish will change the flavour as well. The lemon and lime slices particularly will add more acid to the lemonade and possibly make it too tart and throw off the balance.
Pour the lemonade into glasses, add ice and garnish. Serve immediately. With the leftover lemonade – if you have any! – leave it in the fridge to keep cool. If you plan to leave the lemonade overnight, be sure to cover the pitcher. I would not recommend making this lemonade too far in advance. Try to prepare it no more than a few hours before you plan to serve it.
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Strawberry Lime Lemonade
- 2 cups strawberries, washed and hulled
- 1 cup lemon juice, use fresh lemons
- 1 cup lime juice, use fresh limes
- 1 cup sugar
- 8 cups water
- Over medium-high heat, add the sugar and half of the water into a sauce pan. Stir frequently and bring to a low boil until sugar has completely dissolved.
- Remove the water and sugar syrup mixture from the burner and allow it to cool.
- In the meantime, add the strawberries to a blender with the remaining four cups of water. Puree until smooth.
- Pour the strawberry and water mixture from the blender through a fine-mesh sieve and right into your serving pitcher. Add the fresh lemon and lime juice, along with the cooled simple syrup and stir well to combine.
- Transfer the pitcher to the refrigerator to cool.
- To serve, poor into glasses and garnish with fresh strawberries, ice, and sliced lemon and lime.
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