The dog days have summer have arrived – and there’s nothing like sitting in the shade sipping lemonade on a hot summer day. I usually make lemonade using just lemons, water, and sugar – but when I saw a hundred-year-old recipe which suggested that back then they colored pink lemonade by mixing in a little red-colored jelly (currant, crab apple, etc.), I just had to give it a try.
According to the old recipe, the best lemonade is “a little too sweet, and a little too sour.” Using that criteria, the Pink Lemonade I made was perfect. It was refreshing and delightful . . . and a lovely shade of pink.
Here’s the original recipe:
Here’s how I adapted the recipe for modern cooks:
1 cup sugar
2 cups water + 6 cups water
1/2 cup tart red jelly (currant, crab apple, etc.)
3 – 6 lemons (depending upon size)
mint sprigs or lemon zest for garnish (optional)
Put the sugar and 2 cups of water into a saucepan using medium heat, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and continue to boil slowly for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and cool slightly then beat in the jelly. (I used homemade Crab Apple Jelly, but Currant Jelly or any other tart red jelly would work well). There may be flecks of jelly in the liquid even after beating, that’s okay.
Squeeze lemons, and stir lemon juice into the sugar mixture. Strain the liquid. Some of the jelly (as well as the lemon pulp) will not go through the strainer. Discard this jelly, it will have already colored the lemonade.
Chill the strained syrup. To serve, mix the syrup with 6 cups water, and serve over ice. If desired, garnish with mint sprigs or lemon zest.
The syrup will keep for several days in the refrigerator. Individual servings of lemonade can be made by mixing some of the syrup with water in a glass – proportions can vary to taste.
The old recipe called for 3 lemons. When I made this recipe, 3 didn’t seem like enough; so I doubled it and used 6 lemons.