Today in France, we are packing our bags for the beach. Ben and I, along with my sister and brother-in-law are catching a 7 a.m. train to Normandy to visit the D-Day beaches, Ben’s one itinerary request for our entire four-week French escapade. I visited the beaches in college when I studied abroad in France, and it was one of the most powerful experiences of my life. I’m eager to revisit this solemn place and see if, and how, it will touch me this time.
Having my sister here makes this experience even more special. She is one of my best friends, and I know that being able to relive memories with her later on will (at some point) make our journey seem more real.
Travels to France are certainly not our first foray into the unknown together. As soon as Elizabeth was old enough to see over the top of a card table, we opened our first lemonade stand. My dad insisted that we price ourselves below the neighborhood competition, and my mom (the ultimate hostess) found us an attractive pitcher for serving. Our lemonade business was destined for success.
To this day, lemonade is still one of my favorite drinks for a summer day, whether I am at the beach or hosting a party for a group of friends. Forget the fussy cocktails—one of my favorite ways to entertain in the summer is to set out a pitcher of freshly squeezed lemonade, along with a few different flavors of simple syrup and some “grown-up” mix-ins (ahem, vodka.) Guests go crazy over mixing their own custom lemonades, and I get to leisurely sip my own, instead of playing bartender!
A DIY Grown Up Lemonade Bar is ideal for entertaining, because all of the components can be prepped in advance. For my tips and tricks, the recipes for three fabulous simple syrups to mix with the lemonade (basil, blackberry, and ginger), and a star recipe for perfect fresh lemonade that will put the pink powder to shame, visit KitchenAid’s Blog, The Kitchenthusiast. This is my first guest post with KitchenAid, and I am beyond excited to be sharing it.
Basil, Blackberry, and Ginger Lemonade
For the Fresh Lemonade:
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 5 cups water, divided
- 1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (5 to 8 lemons, depending on size)
- Additional lemon slices for garnish
For the Basil Simple Syrup:
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup basil leaves
For the Ginger Simple Syrup:
- 5 ounces fresh ginger root (peel only if you would like to reuse the ginger)
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
For the Blackberry Simple Syrup:
- 1 1/2 pounds blackberries (fresh or frozen, thawed if frozen)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
For the fresh lemonade:
- Combine the sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to boil over high heat and stir to dissolve sugar. Allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until chilled.
- Juice the lemons with a KitchenAid® Citrus Juicer Attachment. In pitcher, stir together the chilled syrup, lemon juice, and remaining 4 cups water. Garnish with lemon slices and serve chilled over ice.
For the basil simple syrup:
- Combine the sugar, water, and basil leaves in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature. Strain and chill.
For the ginger simple syrup:
- Cut the ginger into thin, round slices, then slice it into small pieces. Place the ginger, water, and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Allow the mixture to simmer for 30 minutes, then remove from heat and let cool. Strain the syrup through a fine mesh strainer into a small, sealed container.
- Note: If peeled prior to simmering, the leftover cooked ginger will be candied and can be used as a mix-in for cookies, cakes, or even ice cream.
For the blackberry simple syrup:
- Bring the blackberries, sugar, and water to a gentle boil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan. Reduce the heat and simmer until the berries are falling apart and the sauce has thickened, 20 to 25 minutes. Strain the syrup through a fine mesh sieve. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight. The syrup will thicken as it chills.
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More summertime refreshment:
- Rhubarb Apple Sangria
- Strawberry Basil Champagne Sparklers
- Chipotle Grapefruit Margaritas
- Blackberry Cinnamon Smoothies
KitchenAid compensated me for my time to create this recipe and post. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that support The Law Student’s Wife!