About a few weeks ago Mayank planned a party with his friends. He asked me if I would be interested in making a welcome drink for the party and I agreed. The best drink to beat the heat these days is a chilled lemonade, flavored with fresh mint leaves and ginger juice.
Mayank asked me the ingredients required for the drink and I gave him a list. He ran the errand rather promptly and in an hours time our house was fragrant with a whole lot of mint leaves. In the evening he told me that there was a change in plans. We wont have to make the beverage as an arrangement had already been made. Hmmmm….. what was I to do with the mint leaves, ginger and whole lot of lemon that was chilling in my fridge?
Mint leaves are versatile and can be used to make pudina chutney and pulao. So that wasnt a problem and thankfully ginger also has a rather long shelf but lemon doesnt survive that way and how long can you eat tangy food in order to finish the lime juice? A week went by and every time I opened the fridge 12 angry big lemons would stare at me and I would look away, promising myself that someday I would put them to good use.
At this point my mom came up with a good solution. She asked me to make lemon squash so in the upcoming summer months we can drink refreshing lemonade whenever we want.
The procedure was simple. I bought a lemon squeezer so it would hasten the process. Once the squash was ready I added PMS to give it a shelf life of one year! Unlike the market-made squash it doesnt contain essence and food color. It has the flavor of freshly squeezed lime juice in every glass. Now I am happy that managed to preserve my 12 angry lemons for one year without really putting them in a pickle :)
Lets start Cooking. Besides the ingredients mentioned in the picture below please make sure you have a lemon squeezer and a funnel (to pour the squash into a bottle).
- Heat sugar with water in a heavy bottom pan till it boils.
- Turn off the heat and add citric acid. If you find froth on the surface extract and discard it. Thats the impurity in sugar that citric acid helps to collect.
- Once the sugar syrup is cool add the lime juice, PMS and mix well.
- Store in clean, dry bottle.
- When you want to have a glass of lemonade mix the syrup with the desired quantity of water and enjoy it with ice. If you find the sweetness to be less you can add sugar to the syrup even after its made.
You can add strands of kesar to the squash once its ready. This will add kesar flavor and color to the lemonade.
You can mix this syrup in ice tea or fuzzy apple drink to get delicious mocktails.