More than two dozen U.S. states have an official “state beverage” and it has been proposed that Arizona adopt lemonade as ours. As it happens, House Bill 2692, cleared the Arizona state House in February on a 57-3 vote. Other bevs being proposed for AZ include the margarita and sun tea — both worthy candidates in our humble view, but I had lemons aplenty, courtesy of my friends and neighbors.
The basic recipe is simplicity itself:
1 cup juice (6-8 lemons)
1 cup sugar
6 cups cold water (though some say 4 cups)
You squeeze the lemons in a juicer, pour everything into a goodly sized glass container and microwave the concoction to dissolve the sugar. (You could boil the ingredients in a pan on the stove, as I did in my Saudi winemaking days¹, but that was mostly for lack of a microwave…and quite messy).
Being something of a would-be lemonade maestro myself, one morning I cobbled the few simple ingredients together into every kind of measuring cup I could find. My problem, however, was that I didn’t have a goodly size jug that would fit in my microwave. This meant I had to measure out numerous mic-sized glass jars while I kept track of the proportions. (And I’m not known for math prowess.)
An hour later, after turning my my innocent kitchen into a sort of Frankenstein/Rube Goldberg factory of measuring cups, spilled sugar, lemon rinds, two kinds of funnels and my electric juicer, the project was completed with pretty good results, if I do say so myself.
All that was left was to find a suitably chic glass. And what could be more fitting than the beloved heirloom Waterford crystal that my mom used for fancy dinner parties!
¹ Don’t tell the Saudis…I’m not sure if there’s a statute of limitations on illicit winemaking.
Next up: Orangezilla!