Treats along the boardwalk are hard to resist. Pizza, burgers, Greek food to deep fried. What is it about being on the boardwalk that just makes ordinary food taste better? For me, it was always freshly squeezed lemonade. The flavors can be easily mimicked at home for half the price but there’s just something about the taste of reaching out for a cup of boardwalk lemonade. Seeing the perfectly cut lemon halves stocked up neatly next to the juicer and tap makes you even more thirstier than you thought you were on that balmy beach day. No, really. What is it about being on the boardwalk that just makes ordinary food and beverages taste better?
The last weekend of May has been hot, hot, hot here in the northeast. When swimming isn’t an option and the A/C units aren’t installed, we seek refuge in a frosted, cold glass of one of our favorite beverages…of the non-alcoholic variety, that is. Although I do like an occasional spirit every now and then, I prefer to keep things G rated around my blog. One of my favorite summer beverages is freshly squeezed lemonade.
And yet this isn’t a blog post about just lemonade.
I want to shake things up a bit. Jumping on the bandwagon, I tried cucumber lemonade. There’s many recipe variations of cucumber lemonade floating around but let’s skip to the bottom line. Yes, it makes your lemonade green but this is not yet another green juice recipe. It’s still lemonade and it’s so light and refreshing that you won’t even notice the cucumber so much. Perfect for those end of the year Sunday School parties and church picnics. I make my lemonade the old-fashioned way though I’d like to work up getting used to making lemonade with just adding honey instead of sugar but I’m so not ready for it yet. When the Orthodox Gentleman converted me from using olive oil to coconut oil, I thought I’d never be the same and he was right…though it didn’t happen overnight!
In fact, don’t bother getting too virtuous like adding stevia or honey if you’re avoiding sugar. I mean, you can – but sometimes if I can’t get that classic taste in recipes without a little twist that isn’t far off, I don’t want it. And sometimes, it’s those familiar tastes and sights that keeps us nostalgic and romantic for the sweet summer memories of summer allover again.
Give it a try. It’s like serving up your own slice of summer.
Duration: 10 minutes
Cost: $10 and Under
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice from 5-6 fresh lemons (Please, please, please for the love of your mother’s dog don’t use lemon juice. I know it’s cheaper and it’s something I would do too but it really does alter the taste dramatically.)
1 cucumber, washed (Slice it unless your Vitamix does Crossfit. Just for the record, no such Vitamix exists as that was me making a joke. Peel it if you’re feeling extra domestic but you can get away without the peeling in this recipe.)
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
2 cups of cold water (If you want to be fancy, use sparkling water but water is fine here.)
- Wash and slice up your cucumber and your lemons. Juice your lemons to get one cup of lemon juice. Set aside.
- Puree your cucumber. Set a strainer lined with a cheesecloth over a pitcher and pour cucumber puree through it. Discard solids. Add lemon juice and sugar, then water. Stir well.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. Keep refrigerated. Serve over ice.