Tomorrow is the Fourth of July. Red, white, and blue day. Red is for strawberries, to be consumed in cake, pie, and beverages aplenty.
This post is really about two things: the lemonade pictured above and puree, which has multiple uses over and above mere lemonade. Once the puree is prepared, then you options are diverse:
- Strawberry lemonade: 1 part puree to 3 part lemonade [canned is okay but see other blog posts here for outrageous lemonade ideas using lemons from scratch
- Strawberry Agua Fresca: 1 part puree to 3 parts cold water
- Strawberry Fritzer: 1 part puree to 3 parts cold club soda or seltzer water
- Strawberry Margarita: see the recipe below
My 1-to-3 proportions are simply my personal preference. Depending on the flavor power of your strawberries and the ache in your sweet tooth and the acidity of your lemonade, you'll want to adjust the proportions. Do a side experiment with chilled liquids before making a major decision.
Yield: 2+ cups
- 4 cups of perfectly ripe strawberry halves [that's a four cup measure randomly filled with halves, not packed]
- ¾ cup of granulated sugar
- Juice of one small lemon
Before you halve the berries, wash and dry them. Make sure you snip off the end and any sore spots.
Put the berries in a blender, or, better, a VitaMix. Blend for two minutes until liquefied. Add the sugar and lemon juice. Blend another minute or two. If using a blender, you may want to sieve the liquid. If you are using a Vitamix, the machine is so powerful that sieving is really not necessary.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The puree is best used on Day 1.
Source: Brian O’Rourke
Photo Information: Canon T2i, 30MM, F/4.5 for 1/50 second with ISO 800
Strawberry Margarita from Rick Bayless Frontera Grill
Yield: 4 drinks
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (2 to 3 limes)
1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup Tres Generaciones Blanco Tequila
3/4 cup pureed strawberries
1/4 cup cucumber juice (peel and cube fresh cucumber and puree in a blender)
About 1 cup coarsely broken ice cubes
Make limonada (limeade). Combine lime juice, sugar and a scant 2/3 cup of water in a glass or plastic pitcher. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (but no longer than 24 hours).
Finishing and serving the margaritas. Rub the rims of 4 martini glasses with a lime wedge, then dip them in a dish of coarse salt. In a shaker, combine the limeade, tequila, strawberry puree and cucumber juice. Add ice and shake 10 to 15 seconds, then pour into the prepared glasses.
Tags: puree, strawberries
Luscious Lemon Desserts by Lori Longbotham is filled with lemon ideas, some familiar and some with a twist. Here’s her idea for “staging ahead” to make lemonade: make a lemon juice syrup that can be stored for up to three weeks. When you want to drink, all you do is mix the syrup with cold water. The mixing ratio? It’s up to you, but the suggested proportions are 1 part syrup to 4-6 parts water. You can start with 1:4 and dilute if you want. I prefer my lemonade on the “wake me now” side.
Yield: 5 Cups
- 1 cup water
- 2 ½ cups sugar
- Finely grated zest of 4 lemons
- Pinch of slat
- 3 cups fresh lemon juice [about 12 large lemons]
Bring 1 cup of water, the sugar, and the zest and the salt to a boil in large saucepan over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved. Boil for 5 minutes, then removed the pan from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
Pour the syrup through a strainer into a large glass measure or bowl. Stir in the lemon juice and mix. Pour the syrup into a large jar or bottle with a tight-fitting lid. The syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.