Want a simple and tasty thirst-quencher for hot summer days and evenings? Make lemonade. I always have fresh lemons on hand to squeeze flavor into beverages and dishes at a moment’s notice. Squeezing fresh lemon into water with a hint of sweetness and a sprig a mint, ginger or rosemary is glory in a glass. Lately, I’ve fallen in love with the combination of ginger and lemon. It’s so tasty as a tea just steeped in hot water or used in dressings, marinades, dips with grilled veggies, salmon or lean meats.
My family and I are spending a lot of time at our lake house – it’s on Magician Lake, a spring-fed lake about 2 hours from our Chicago home. It’s the perfect summer retreat. To keep us going all day, I like to whip up beverages that are hydrating during the day, yet transform into festive cocktails at sunset. (Here’s one of my favorite sights from our deck: the spectacular Michigan sunset!)
Today, let’s spritz up lemonade with a hint of sparkling water, ginger and honey over ice. It’s sunshine in a glass and does your health wonders, too. Vitamin C from the lemons is great for your skin and alleviating the severity of nasty cold and flu bugs. Gingerol, the active ingredient in ginger root, is so vital for soothing the stomach and easing morning or motion sickness.
Steep the ginger tea for at least 3 minutes; strain the ginger pieces for the liquid and pour into a heat-proof container. Add honey for a hint of sweetness and stir until it dissolves. Gently squeeze fresh lemon juice into the sweetened ginger tea. Cool in the refrigerator. Add a spritz with ‘bubble’ water – as my kids call it, and enjoy. (We enjoy San Pellegrino in our house – I am a fan, not a spokesperson.)
Ginger Honey Lemonade Spritzer
Serves 4 (1 cup each)
3 cups water
1 small ginger root, peeled and cut in pieces
1/4 c. honey
4 lemons, halved, pitted and juiced (makes about 1/2 cup juice)
1 cup sparkling water
Put water in a tea kettle or pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add ginger. Steep for 3 – 4 minutes. Pour the water through a fine sieve to catch the ginger. Add honey and stir to dissolve it. Add lemon juice and stir. Refrigerate the lemonade.
Put ice into each glass or tumbler; pour cooled liquid into glasses to 1/2 – 3/4 full and top with about 1/4 cup sparkling water each. You can make it less bubbly or more; adjust to your taste.
*To make an evening cocktail, add an ounce of vodka or your favorite spirit to each glass.**
Enjoy eating simply,