Friday, July 3, 2015

Homemade Raspberry Lemonade

I love lemonade. Really, and truly. It's a strong love affair. Pink lemonade and vodka were my drink of choice all through college (minus that hazy first year of crazy Zima love). Before I turned 21, Red Robin's Speckled Lemonade was my favorite thing on Earth. And when I discovered Raspberry Lemonade? Fughetaboutit. I was toast.

The funny thing is, I'm allergic to lemons...

Well, not lemons per say. I'm actually allergic to citric acid, which is a preservative grown out of mold spores. Gross, I know. But that acid is in all citrus fruit, and pretty much all fruit in some small form. My allergy was a lot worse when I was a toddler. Mom would find me out in the garden, up to my elbows in cherry tomatoes, my little face red and swollen from the acid. During those years, the only fruit I was allowed to eat was bananas, the only cereal I could eat was Cheerios, and the only soda I could drink was Root Beer. I challenge you to look at the ingredient lists on a lot of products. You'll find citric acid in so many it'll make your head spin. Luckily, my allergy is not so bad now that I'm an adult. 

I find I can eat small amounts of foods with citric acid. I can have a glass of lemonade, I just can't have 4. I can have spaghetti sauce, but a normal portion size. For some reason, it seems my skin is more sensitive to the acid vs when I eat it. I try to stay far away from handling citrus. I'm the girl who has her hubby squeeze her orange slice into her Blue Moon and lemon over her fish :)

There's something magical about fresh squeezed lemon juice. Concentrates and artificial flavors got nothing on the real stuff.

But if you really want to talk about artificial flavors, let's talk about artificial raspberry flavor-

Artificial raspberry flavoring is one of the worst artificial flavors. If my dislike of artificial fruit flavors were a list, it would look like so:

5. Strawberry
4. Cherry
3. Grape
2. Raspberry

And the worst of them all?

1. Watermelon

Ugh. Why is it that artificial fruit flavors taste nothing like the real thing? At any rate, this lemonade tastes like FRESH lemon and raspberry. None of that artificial crap.

Summer perfection.

And speaking of summer perfection, this lemonade would be excellent for a 4th of July celebration. Ideal for the kids, and then later... slip in a little vodka for the adults :)

What do you have planned for the holiday weekend? The hubby is working tonight, so he'll likely spend half the holiday sleeping. I'm thinking of defrosting some steaks and having a quiet holiday. Perhaps with some Raspberry Lemonade? With vodka, of course.

Have a great weekend friends!

Ingredients (serves 4-6):

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
3/4 cup fresh raspberries
1 cup fresh lemon juice (5-8 lemons)
6 cups cold water


1. Make a simple syrup- combine 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan. Place over medium heat, and stir to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and allow to cool once all the sugar has been dissolved.
2. Pulse raspberries in a food processor until smooth. Place a fine mesh sieve over a pitcher and work the raspberry puree through the sieve, saving the juice in the pitcher. Discard raspberry seeds.
3. Once the syrup has cooled, add it to the pitcher. Add the lemon juice. Stir.
4. Add the cold water. Stir to combine. Place in the fridge and chill for 2 hours. Serve immediately. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Printable Recipe

Recipe by My Baking Addiction.
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