Thursday, May 15, 2014

Fresh Mint Lemonade

The first of many mint recipes to come for the season.

Yesterday turned out to be a pretty nice day (for the most part), and it turned out to be a great day for my first harvest. After watching several YouTube videos on harvesting cilantro, parsley, basil, and mint and armed with kitchen shears, I ended up collecting what would have been an expensive bounty of herbs from the grocery store. And the smells of my fresh herbs! I think I've been buying artificial cilantro from Kroger... Have you seen that Dairy Queen commercial, about the artificial fruit stand (ironic, being a Dairy Queen commercial)? "100% not-real fruit" sound familiar? Well, that's how I'm starting to feel about Kroger's cilantro.

And the mint? Ohhhhh, the smell of fresh mint...

True to what my mother said, the mint has indeed taken over its little box. What started out as one lonely strand has branched into many strands. I've got a million mint recipes running through my mind, cookies and popsicles being among the top recipes I can't wait to experiment with. But first, I put some spring-y lemons to good use with this lemonade.

I love fresh lemonade. The difference in commercial lemonade (prepared with artificial fruit juice and more chemicals than you'll ever be able to pronounce) and homemade lemonade (prepared with water, sugar, and lemon juice) is vast. Fresh lemonade is a revelation. It's bright, tangy, and summery. And combined with fresh mint? Holy yum.

You want to know what I think? I think this would make one mean margarita. Think about it. Yeah, it's not lime-based, but it is citrus-based. Mixed with some tequila, orange-licquer, and maybe a touch of light beer to cut the sweetness? That experiment be calling my name! Oh, I'm so doing it :)
If you don't include fresh mint in your diet, let me provide a couple of reasons why you should:

1. Soothes stomach indigestion.
2. Mint provides quick and effective nausea relief. 
3. Can clear up congestion of the nose, throat, and lungs.
4. Mint is a natural stimulant which can help fight depression and fatigue.
5. Mint oil is a natural anti-septic and can reduce skin inflammation and acne.
6. Potential increase in cognitive function and alertness.
There's many, many other reasons to add mint to your diet. Not only is it tasty and fragrant, it's exceedingly healthy for you.

The mint leaves really make the lemonade feel fancy. The scent of a glass of this lemonade is enough to put any grumpy-puss in a good mood.

Well, another week is almost gone. I can't believe it's Thursday already. I continue to be amazed at how busy the hubby and I have been this spring. Today's shaping up to be another busy day as the hubby has the day off. It's yard work and our nephew's t-ball game on deck. As for this weekend, the hubby will be working the night shift. We definitely won't be partying like we did last weekend! Back to reality :)

Happy Thursday!

2 cups sugar
6 cups water
2 cups fresh lemon juice (about 6-7 lemons)
1/2- 3/4 cup mint leaves

1. In a small saucepan, combine sugar with 2 cups of water. Heat over medium-high heat until sugar has been dissolved, and the mixture once again looks like water.
2. In a large pitcher, add remaining 4 cups of water to lemon juice. Add 1 1/2 cups sugar mixture to lemon juice. Add ice to taste. Stir in mint leaves. Chill in fridge for 1 hour. Serve over ice.

Printable Recipe

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  1. This looks like it would be totally awesome on a hot, muggy Kentucky summer afternoon.

    1. Oh, heck yeah! I'll admit to drinking this out on the porch when it was freakin' hot on Wednesday! :)