Friday, July 3, 2009

Cherry Lemonade

Remember that I brought loads of lemons home from California? Well, in my battle to use them all, I had to concede and realize I was not going to use them all. Then Lindsey of Cafe Johnsonia said she would take some off my hands. If there was anyone I would want to have some of my precious California lemons, it would be Lindsey. I knew she would love them and use them wisely.

So one day, I filled up a bag and drove over to her house after Jack's swimming lessons. In exchange for my lemony offerings, Lindsey gave me a bottle of lavender limeade. Boy, was that heaven in a bottle! I am not one to savor things and take small bites. Basically, I spent the afternoon chugging that limeade. It was divine.

Anyways, on my drive home from Lindsey's, I kept thinking about all those damn lemons I still had at home. Then I came up the hill and there were little girls selling bags of freshly-picked cherries for $1. Yeah, I'll take 3 please. And then it hit me! CHERRY LEMONADE! But then came the thought of how to make it. Tricky tricky. But I figured it out. And no, I didn't add any food coloring. It really is that red. Pretty, isn't it?

Lindsey gave me my lavender limeade in the pretty bottle pictured above.
I returned her bottle filled with cherry lemonade.
Not a bad trade.

2 cups halved fresh cherries (pit does not need to be removed)
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
2 cups fresh lemon juice
6 cups water

Add the cherries, sugar and water into a medium saucepan. Simmer over medium heat. While cooking, mash cherries with a masher to release their juices. Simmer for 10 minutes. Pour cherry syrup through a mesh strainer, reserving the juices. Throw away the cherry pits and skins left in the strainer.

In a large pitcher, combine 2 cups of the cherry syrup, 2 cups lemon juice and 6 cups water. Stir well to combine. Chill and serve.

Rookie's Notes: This lemonade is tart, hence the cherries. So if you like a sweet taste, add more sugar to the syrup, but be careful not to cover up the cherry flavor.


Cafe Johnsonia said...

You are too kind...I LOVED the goodies you brought me. I'm finishing them up today, in fact.

I've been waiting for your recipe for the cherry lemonade. It was absolutely amazing!

Lars said...

Love me some cherries indeed! Does it matter what type of cherry is used in the recipe? I am partial to Rainier which are more sweet than tart.

Nicole Feliciano said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mrs. Organic said...

Just made this - very tasty!

Staci said...

Thank you, thank you. I love homemade lemonade and adding cherries just looks great. (It is cherry season after all.)

Amanda said...

I'm so excited! We have two cherry trees in my yard and I've been picking, pitting and freezing, hoping to come across a good recipe to try fresh.
I'm going to whip a a batch of this asap! Thanks!

oneordinaryday said...

What a lovely way to return your friend's pretty bottle.
Your drink sounds fabulous and very refreshing.

Lisa Michelle said...

Not only does that lemonade look SO refreshing , but the color is gorgeous. Me thinks I must try it soon. Wish I'd seen it prior to the July 4th weekend!

My Sensei said...

Can't wait to try this recipe out. I am all about strawberry lemonade, cherry sounds sooo yummy as well. And plus with all the cherries I buy, I might as well make some of this yumminess!

Cakespy said...

I just picked up a bunch of cherries at the market yesterday...this sounds like an awesome way to use them!

Marie said...

I made this last night to go with our nachos (another recipe from you!) and it was awesome! The cherries made nearly 4 cups of syrup and I added all of it because I thought that just the 2 cups was too lemon-y. But just more syrup and water (and sugar!) and it was perfect and made a full gallon of lemonade.

Thanks for all your experimenting!

Anonymous said...

I made this cherry lemonade for a friend of mine's birthday present. I kept about a quarter of it for myself. I think the recipe as is would have been perfect-- I dinked around with it and added more sugar and water, only to end up adding two more lemons' worth of lemon juice! I just tasted it, and it is absolutely the best lemonade I've ever had. Thanks so much for the recipe-- it's fabulous!!!