Last night we hosted some friends for dinner at our house and everything I made was really inspired by summer. I marinaded steaks in a fig balsamic and a good heap of rosemary from our garden, mixed up some basil farfalle pasta with pine nuts and a freshly made dressing of olive oil and white wine vinegar and sauteed brussels sprouts with buttered onions and fresh oregano. It was divine I’m tellin’ ya.
I think perhaps the crowning jewel of the evening, though, was what was in our glasses. I’m not sure if any drink screams summer more than an ice cold lemonade does. I used a Joanna Gaines recipe out of Magnolia Journal for this one, but altered it a bit.
What You’ll Need
9 cups water
2 cups fresh lemon juice
2 cups sugar
1 bunch fresh thyme sprigs
1 16 oz. package frozen sliced peaches
Details of How I Made Mine
When making any kind of drink that uses water (coffee, tea, etc) I never use faucet water. I use purified drinking water. Water-based drinks need to start with a pure taste or else you’ve already ruined the drink you’re about to make in my opinion. Our house has a reverse-osmosis water purifier faucet along with our regular water faucet, so I use that. In the past I would have used fridge water or purified drinking water from the store.
If you’re wondering how many lemons you need to get 2 cups of lemon juice, you’re in luck – I have that answer. I went to Trader Joe’s and on a guess, I bought 10 lemons. And those 10 lemons made exactly 2 cups of juice. So I would recommend buying 11-12 to have enough to also slice some up and drop in the lemonade as well as to use for garnishing glasses. I use an antique hand-held squeezer!
Once I got my 9 cups of water and 2 cups of lemon juice into my dispenser, I added my sugar (organic cane sugar from Trader Joe’s) and stirred until it was dissolved.
I thought the Magnolia Journal recipe was vague about how much thyme it called for, so I just bought one of the pre-packaged bundles of thyme from the produce section and literally threw the whole heap in. I’m a big fan of thyme, so I figured I couldn’t go wrong. It wasn’t a mistake! Make sure to stir the thyme around and, using your spoon, press it up against the sides of your pitcher/dispenser to release the oils and really get the flavor in your batch of lemonade.
I suppose you could use fresh peaches, but you’d need to peel and slice them. I just used a 16 oz package from Trader Joe’s. I had let them sit for about half an hour so the juices had a chance to melt. So when I dumped them into my lemonade, I squeezed the excess juices out too.
You’re going to want to make this ahead of time because it’ll need to sit in the fridge for 3 or so hours.
Pour over ice, garnish with lemon slices and thyme sprigs. Enjoy!
Note: after our company left, Adam and I curled up and watched some Walking Dead (lovely, I know) and he added some whiskey to a glass of lemonade. Flavorful lemonades like this are always a great base for cocktails so be creative; whiskey, gin or vodka are all great additions!