Guest Author - Lea Ann Fessenden-Joseph
Nothing quenches your thirst like a refreshing glass of lime juice on a hot summer day. We are fortunate to have a grafted lime tree on our property and my husband and I try to keep a pitcher on hand for sweltering days. It is a great alternative to high priced sodas and store bought juices.
Of course it is best to use fresh limes, but if they are not readily available in your market you can opt for bottled lime juice in a pinch.
For starters, make a simple syrup, a mixture of sugar and water used frequently in the Caribbean to sweeten beverages. We try to make the simple syrup in advance since it can be used in the preparation of other drinks and cocktails and it can be stored for weeks in the refrigerator. We also use simple syrup when making Johnny Cakes but I'll save that recipe for another date.
Combine 2 cups of white or brown sugar and 2 cups of water in a small saucepan. Heat while stirring frequently, until the sugar is dissolved and the syrup is clear. Let the syrup cool and then store in a jar in the fridge. We love the slightly different flavor of the brown sugar versus the white, but they are both good.
1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, strain seeds well
1 cup simple syrup
2 gallons water
Lime, lemon and/or orange slices, for garnish
Combine the lime juice, the simple syrup and the water in a pitcher that holds 2 gallons. Stir it well to combine the ingredients. Add your slices of fruit for garnish. Fill tall glasses with ice and pour in the limeade.
To keep your limeade from becoming too watered down in the heat of the day, you can freeze some of the juice in ice cube trays and add to your drink. There's nothing worse than a glass of melted watery ice cubes.
You can easily adapt this recipe to make lemonade. Follow the directions above, substituting lemon juice for lime juice. When in season, we also use the same recipe for grapefuit juice or passion fruit juice. Oranges and tangerines make a fantastic substitute as well.
Now all you need to do is find a nice shady spot and sit back and enjoy!
This Limeade is a great beverage to have on hand for the beach, picnic or anytime you have visitors. It is always a favorite with the kids too.