Thursday, July 23, 2009
I can’t think of anything more refreshing than a glass of homemade lemonade on a hot summer day. At least, I didn’t think I could. Then my boyfriend’s mother told me about the parsley lemonade she enjoyed on a recent lunch date. What better way to make lemonade even more delightful than to add in a bunch or two of fresh herbs? And why didn’t I think of that? There was no doubt that parsley lemonade would be served at my next BBQ and truth be told, it’s been served at every one since as well.
Rather than worry about everyone at the BBQ walking around with flecks of green, chopped parsley stuck in their teeth, I steeped the parsley in a simple syrup to infuse the flavor without leaving any parsley in the final drink. This kills two birds with one stone – you have your flavoring and sweetener in one mix.
If you feel like stocking up on some new glassware, good old-fashioned mason jars make a great vessel for this drink. Sur la Table sells a great set with handles that are sturdy enough to have survived a number of our backyard BBQs.
1 bunch parsley
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
3 pound bag of lemons*
Water or sparkling water to taste
Remove large stems from the parsley and roughly chop. Place water and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally. Once the sugar is dissolved, add the chopped parsley to the pan and let heat for one – two minutes more. Remove from heat, cover and set aside until cool and the parsley flavor is infused, about an hour. In the meantime, juice the lemons.
When the simple syrup is cool, combine it with your lemon juice. You now have your concentrate. You can either mix the concentrate with water to taste and let your guests serve themselves, or keep the concentrate separate and let each guest decide if they would like to use sparkling or still water and mix each drink to taste. Garnish glasses with a sprig of parsley.
*If desired, roll the lemons between your palm and the countertop to help release all of the juices before juicing.