I’m hanging on to the last few days of summer. It’s not over yet!
In less than 2 weeks I’ll be back to work, and Canadian kids will be back in their classrooms. But until then I’m enjoying the warm weather (34°C today!), and all the fun foods that go with it! Well, as much as I can… I had gum surgery a couple weeks ago, and I can’t eat anything crunchy, so no chips & dip or popcorn for me. My periodontist did a really good job though so I can’t complain.
Anyhow, here’s a recipe that really captures the essence of summer. It’s pretty, refreshing, and when you make it with in-season strawberries it’s even better! I’m a bit late in that respect… but there’s always next year 🙂
Oh, and this recipe uses Pineapple Mint, which is an ingredient that you might not be familiar with. Here’s some info on this unique herb.
What is Pineapple Mint?
Pineapple Mint is a variation of the apple mint family and can be easily identified by its pretty green and white leaves. It has a slight pineapple flavour and is a milder mint than spearmint or peppermint. It can be used in fruit salads, cold drinks, or even dried and used in teas. I usually buy a Pineapple Mint plant from my local nursery, as I haven’t seen the herb in any groceries yet.
- 1 cup Sugar
- 2 cups Water
- 10-12 Pineapple Mint Leaves, chopped
- zest of 1 Lemon
- 1 Pint of Strawberries, washed & hulled
- 4 Lemons, washed
- 2 cups of Pineapple Mint Simple Syrup
- 3 cups of water
- Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and place over medium heat.
- The sugar will begin to dissolve after a few minutes, stir occasionally to help it along.
- Once all of the sugar has melted into the water, and the mixture has thickened a bit, add the mint leaves to the saucepan, along with the lemon zest.
- Stir the mixture, then remove the saucepan from the heat. Cooking the mint will result in a grassy flavour.
- Pour into a glass jar or glass measuring cup and allow to cool before putting in the fridge.
- Leave the mixture in the fridge overnight to infuse the flavours into the simple syrup.
- Strain through a sieve before using.
- This recipe should yield 2 cups of simple syrup.
- Add the strawberries to a blender and use the puree or liquify setting.
- Strain the strawberry puree through a fine sieve to remove seeds and hard bits. You should get about 1 cup of strawberry "juice". Set this aside for now.
- Press down on the lemons and roll them on your countertop to help release the juice.
- Juice the lemons into a bowl or measuring cup.
- Strain the liquid to remove seeds and pith. You should get about 1½ cups of lemon juice depending on how juicy your lemons are.
- Combine the strawberry "juice" and lemon juice in a pitcher.
- In the pitcher with the fruit juices, combine 2 cups of the Pineapple Mint Simple Syrup and add about 3 cups of water. You may want to add the simple syrup and water bit-by-bit so you can adjust the taste.
- Serve chilled over ice with a spring of mint, if desired.
You could add sparkling water or vodka to this recipe.
I think the next time I make this I’ll use blueberries or blackberries. That might be interesting. Have you experimented with adding fruit to your lemonade before? Let me know in the comments below 🙂