When I was a kid in Las Vegas my Grandpa Tick would take me on hot summer days to go pick fruit. We’d drive all over town to visit friends of his who grew figs, pomegranates, and lemons. Since I was young and spry, I got to climb the trees to retrieve the fruit and Grandpa would hold the bucket up and get the lower hanging fruit. One of my grandfather’s friends had a lemon tree that I hated. Did you know that lemon trees can have thorns? Apparently not all of them do, but hers sure did. I’d wear long sleeves in the heat of a Las Vegas summer just to protect myself, but I’d still always come away from that lemon tree all scratched up. It brought a whole new meaning to the cliché, “if life gives you lemons.” These days I don’t have to climb thorny trees to get lemons; we get them in bulk from somewhere equally painful–Costco.
Nothing is quite as refreshing on a hot day as a glass of cold lemonade, and I’m not talking about that high-fructose-corn-syrupy “all natural lemon flavor” Country Time / Minute Maid kind. The tartness and bright flavor of real lemons is something else entirely. Pair it with the inherent deliciousness of raspberries and you can’t go wrong.
Real Raspberry Lemonade
- 1 1/2 cup of lemon juice or the juice of about 6 Costco sized lemons
- 4 oz raspberries
- 1 cup granulated sugar, give or take
- 6-7 cups of water
- Juice your lemons. Be careful to get the seeds out. Pulp is okay if you’re into that sort of thing like I am.
- Get a 2 quart pitcher and fill it about a third of the way up with water. Stir in the sugar until dissolved. A lot of lemonade recipes say you need to heat the water to dissolve sugar. That’s a waste of time and that sugar dissolves just fine in cold water. Just keep stirring until it’s dissolved.
- Pour in the lemon juice, stir.
- Add the raspberries and blend in with an immersion blender. If you don’t have an immersion blender, put the raspberries in a regular blender along with a cup or so of water and blend until smooth, then add to the pitcher.
- Add water and stir until the pitcher is full.
- Taste and stir in more sugar if you want it sweeter.
- If a little lemon pulp and raspberry seeds bother you, feel free to run it through a strainer.