I didn’t really think there was more than one way to make lemonade until I tried this recipe and realized that I’d been missing out on the best way of making it: lemon syrup. This recipe uses the traditional combo of lemon juice and simple syrup, but steps up the syrup by infusing it with a sucker punch of lemon zest. Plus this syrup would probably be really delightful in all sorts of other cocktails as well (especially those with prosecco…) The lemonade is of course wonderful enough to drink alone, but for me, the only thing that makes lemonade better is the addition of iced tea. If you’ve never tried an Arnold Palmer, the 50/50 mix of lemonade and iced tea, do yourself the favour and get on it. Also the iced tea “recipe” that I’ve given you (if it can even be called a recipe, it’s so simple) is cold-brewed and could literally be made by a two-year-old. Day-drinking has never been so goddamn easy (is that bad??)
BA’s Best: Lemonade (+ Boozy Arnold Palmers!)
Lemonade taken directly from BA’s best arsenal
Makes ~4 cups lemonade
½ cup white sugar
3 lemons, zest removed in wide strips
¾ cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice (~5 large lemons)
Lemon slices or wedges, for serving
Place the sugar in a medium saucepan along with ½ cup water. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves completely. Let cool 5 minutes then add the lemon zest strips and let sit for 30 minutes to steep. Strain the lemon syrup through a fine-mesh sieve into a large pitcher; discard solids. Stir in lemon juice and 3 cups water (½ sparkling, ½ still would be tasty, I bet!). Serve over ice and garnish with lemon slices or wedges.
Boozy Arnold Palmers
Serves 4-6, depending on glass size
8 black tea bags (e.g. orange pekoe)
1 cup white sugar
Bourbon ( ¾ oz per serving)
1 batch BA’s Best Lemonade
Combine the tea bags with 6 cups very cold water in a large pitcher (make sure you still have room for more liquid!) Cover and chill for at least 4 hours and up to overnight. Discard the tea bags.
While the tea steeps, make simple syrup by combining the white sugar with 1 cup water in a small pot over medium high heat. Bring to a boil until the sugar has completely dissolved. Set aside to cool completely.
Add simple syrup to the iced tea until it is sweetened to your liking (add, taste, repeat). Fill tall glasses with ice. Pour in ¾ oz bourbon per glass then top up with equal parts lemonade and iced tea until the glass is full nearly to the brim. Garnish with lemon slices or wedges.