When Life Gives You Lemons…

Ingredients for citrus juice or a refreshing summer cocktail: orange, lime, mint leaves, along with a glass and drinking straws, top view, copy space

Take a sip of Summer

Ask five people to name the quintessential drink of summer and the majority will say, lemonade. It’s the simplicity of mixing water, sugar and lemons together—how can you improve upon perfection?

A cold glass of lemonade immediately evokes childhood memories of endless sunny days, the sticky sweetness of heat, the sound of clinking ice against a glass, and, for many, their first foray into business

“My very first taste of entrepreneurship was the lemonade stand that I set up at the end of our driveway as a little kid,” says Chef Ashley Christensen, who as proprietor of numerous local eateries including Poole’s Diner and Beasley’s Chicken + Honey has come a long way since those days. “Ever since my childhood, I’ve had a special love for this beverage, especially in the summertime. It’s so refreshing!”

But without the humble lemon we wouldn’t have this staple drink of summer. So, here, we pay homage to the citrus fruit and all the wonderful things you can do with it.

Beasley’s Lemonade

Serves 2 to 4

“In the kitchen, we use lemon juice to help heighten the flavors in the ingredients—drinking lemonade alongside your favorite summer dish, whether it’s a burger from the grill of a piece of fried fish at the beach, provides the same effect and helps to heighten those flavors,” says Christensen.

• 1 cup fresh lemon juice
• 1 cup simple syrup (ration 1:1, i.e. 1 cup water to 1 cup sugar)
• 2 cups cold water

In a pitcher, mix the ingredients together until well combined. Pour over ice and serve.

Spice it up with these three options.

Just add strawberries…

Muddle six strawberries in the bottom of a pitcher until the fruit releases some of its juices. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Strain, discarding the solids. Pour the lemonade over ice and serve.

Just add tea…

Pour equal parts lemonade and hibiscus tea over ice and serve for a refreshing take on the Arnold Palmer.

Just add liquor…

Make Christensen’s Rosé All Day Cocktail. Pour 1.5 oz Lillet Rosé, 0.5 oz tequila and 2 oz lemonade into a glass over ice and top with a splash of soda.

… Just Make Cookies

These citrus-inspired cookies are a big hit for Angie Tucker and Christin Kubasko, Owners of Southern Sugar Bakery. The duo shares the recipe.

  • 1 cup softened salted butter
  • 1¾ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp lemon extract
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 3 ½ to 4 cups all-purpose flour

For the Lemon Vanilla Roll-Out Cookies:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy.
  2. Add in the egg and egg yolk and mix until combined.
  3. Add in the vanilla, lemon extracts and lemon zest.
  4. Slowly add in the flour, and do not overmix. The dough may be crumbly, but that’s  okay!
  5. Knead the dough together by hand on a floured surface until it is smooth (dough should be pliable and not sticky) and then roll it out to 1/4-in thickness. Cut out the cookies with desired cookie cutter shapes, and place onto parchment paper-lined cookie sheets.
  6. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Decorate with the Royal icing once cooled.

For the Royal Icing:

  1. In an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine all of the ingredients and mix on low speed until combined (mixture should be very thin).
  2. Turn up the speed to medium high, and mix for about 5 to 7 minutes until stiff peaks form—the frosting will be very thick at this point!
  3. Cover the icing with plastic wrap to keep the top layer from drying out. Icing will keep in the fridge for up to one month.
Alexandra Drosu
Alexandra Drosu

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