Suzi's Blog

Prickly Pear Lemonade and Sparkling Alternative

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Recent posts here have covered prickly pears, prickly pear syrup, and, most certainly, prickly pear margaritas.

Does the syrup end there? No, you can put it on pancakes or waffles. Drizzle it on pound cake and ice cream.

But wait. There’s still plenty of beverage mileage for this glorious pink liquid. You can make a prickly pear lemonade, pictured above. Or, you can combine that lemonade with sparkling wine. Try half prickly pear lemonade and half brut Proseco. Brut? From me with a sweet tooth that is enormous and never filled?

Yes, brut. The lemonade is nice and sweet unto itself. There no need to make life sweeter and, in truth, the brute force of the brut Proseco is a lovely contrast.

 

Prickly Pear Lemonade

Yield: just under a quart

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice [about 4 lemons]
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup prickly pear syrup [see this blog for a recipe]
  • 2 cups of water

 

Preparation:

Combine the lemon juice and sugar in a pitcher. Stir to mix into a thick liquid. Add the syrup and water and stir to mix evenly. Serve over ice and garnish with a lemon slice.

Source: inspired by desertusa.com

 

Just Muddling Along: Perfect Lemonade

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Here is how we found our way to the best lemonade yet.

“Are you open for lunch?” I asked. It was 12:01 at the Pig Bar in Saugerties, New York.

“We are. We just are.” The bar there is huge: high, wide, and thirty feet long. The voice came from a little girl. Pretty and energetic, she showed Suzen and me to a table. “Any table,” she said. We were the first customers of the day.

By chance, I asked her, “Do you have lemonade?”

“I’ll make you some.”

In the midst of a very good Crabcake sandwich, I had still another request: “Can I have more.”

Suzen had tasted my beverage and smiled. “Not too sweet! That’s better for you.” And I loved the flavor.

We asked how she made it, we watched her, and now here is the recipe.

 

Muddled Lemonade

Yield: 1 ½ cups, enough for one large beverage

Ingredients:

  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cup of cold water
  • ½ cup simple sugar syrup [or less if your wife is watching]
  • Ice cubes

Preparation:

Wash the lemon and cut off the ends. Slice the lemon into 4-6 thin slices. The operative word here is thin.

Put two of the slices in the bottom of a cocktail shaker and muddled them to pieces. Truly, into lemon mush. Then add two more slices and repeat. Continue until all the slices are in fragments.

Why not muddle them all at once? You can do a much better job two slices at a time.

Add the water and sugar syrup. Cover and shake.

Pour into a tall glass. You can strain out the lemon fragments as you pour, or let some in, or let them all in and then pull a few of the chuncks out.

Add ice and stir. Allow to sit for a couple of minutes then enjoy. Garnish with mint if you desire.

Source: Brian O’Rourke inspired by that nameless, talented bartender