Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Al Fresco

No, I'm not talking about that old third baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Al Fresco, third from right, with Mussles and Tony Marinara, c.1925
Photo by Al Dente

The last day of August means that summer is coming to a close and what better way to celebrate than by dining al fresco!

Whether it's barbecue, cheese and pâté, or a bag of chips, just about everyone loves to eat outside on a nice day.

Photo Tokyo Times

So, today, grab a sandwich, park yer keester on a park bench, and watch the world go by!

Lunch on the RCA Building

Special thanks to Rootsweb and

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Why We're Fat Volume 12

Well, the good folks over at The Kitchn have come up with this...

Lucky Charms® Cereal Ice Cream Sandwiches!!


  • 3 tablespoons Butter 
  • 1 package (10 ounces) Mini Marshmallows
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 4 cups Lucky Charms® cereal
  • 1 pint French Vanilla Ice Cream 
Heat butter, marshmallows, vanilla, and salt in a large pot set over medium heat. Cook down until melted, about 5 minutes, stirring continuously with a heat-proof spatula. Turn off the heat and pour in the Lucky Charms cereal, and stir with a spatula until evenly coated with marshmallow mixture. The consistency will be very thick and slightly difficult to stir.

Scoop out the Lucky Charm/marshmallow mixture onto a lipped baking pan and press down into the pan, flattening as much as possible. Your hands will be very sticky, but keep pressing down hard to create an even plain of Lucky Charms.

Allow to set/rest for about 5 minutes then cut out circular shapes using a cookie cutter. You can store the "cookies" in a sealed container for a few days at this point.

To serve, smear about 1/4 to 1/3 cup ice cream between two Lucky Charm cookies, creating a sandwich.

Makes 8 to 12 sandwiches, depending on size.

Recipe and photo courtesy The Kitchn.

Who needs "healthy" Rice Crispies® marshmallow treats to keep us fat!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Chop Suey!

After yesterday's post, it seems appropriate that today is

National Chop Suey Day!

Now, most people, when they think of "Chop Suey", think of the horrors of "bulletproof Chinese" take-out, you know, those places in marginal neighborhoods surrounded in bulletproof glass and attached to the liquor store bearing the same name, at least that's how things work here in NYC, where everything from the far far reaches of the ice-box that no one would eat for one reason or another were combined in the largest wok imaginable to produce a dish that would be inhumane to even give concentration camp prisoners.

Personally, Chop Suey reminds me of a dish that my old friend John Gooby would conjure up that he called "John Gooby 'Surprise'". This dish was an "assortment" of whatever leftover Chinese food there was, and, for that matter, anything else that was on the way out, combined in a skillet with some soy sauce and one lone egg. The "surprise" was that it was actually good.

Chop Suey originated in Taishan, a district of Guangdong Province, in China. Chop Suey or Zá Suì literally means "assorted pieces" which describes the dish perfectly. Leftover meats, chicken, beef, pork, or shrimp, were combined with vegetables and eggs along with a starch based sauce to form the basis of the dish. This proved to be a very frugal and tasty way to use up odds and ends in the kitchen. But, as with all good things, Zá Suì became "Americanized" and turned into the slop and the joke that it is.

So, let's have some Zá Suì in a very tasty way, try this :

Filipino Chop Suey

Photo Indobase

  • 1/2 lbs. (225 g.) Pork, cut into strips
  • 4 cloves fresh Garlic, smashed and minced
  • 1 medium-sized Onion, chopped into small dice
  • 2 medium-sized Potatoes, chopped into small dice
  • 1 medium-sized Carrot, chopped diagonally
  • 1 head Broccoli, broken into florets and the stem chopped diagonally
  • 1 cup Shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 2 tbsp Cornstarch, dissolved in 1/2 cup (118 ml.) Water
  • 2 cups Fish Balls, available in most Asian markets
  • Peanut Oil or Canola Oil
  • 2 cups (473 ml.) Chicken Broth
  • 1/4 lbs. (112 g.) Snow Peas
  • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 3 cups (473 ml.) Water
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fresh ground Black Pepper

Heat some Oil on medium-high, about two (2) good glugs, in a large skillet or wok until just smoking. Add the Onions and Garlic, sauté for one (1) minute.

Add the Pork, Shrimp, and Fish Balls and sauté until the the meat is tender, about two (2) minutes.

Add the Chicken Broth, Carrots, and Potatoes. Stir well and sauté for one (1) minute.

Add Water, Soy Sauce, and dissolved Cornstarch to the skillet and mix well.  Bring to a boil and let simmer for fifteen (15) minutes.

Add Broccoli and Snow Peas. Stir and sauté for two (2) minutes.

Season with Kosher Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste.

Serve over plain White Rice

Recipe adapted from Indobase

Sunday, August 28, 2011

What's For Dinner?????

I'm not really sure what to make of this.

New York Magazine recently ran an article about how to prepare human placenta or afterbirth for consumption.

Yes, you read that right, little baby Zoë's placenta for dinner.

Many cultures view the afterbirth as having religious significance or as good fortune for the child and use it in rituals or in celebration. In New York State, it is legal for the new Mother to request the afterbirth for personal use, most hospitals simply dispose of it as medical waste.

This is where Jennifer Mayer comes in. She is a professional placenta preparer.

Again, you read that right.

Her job is to take newborn human placentas and turn them into supplements that are said to alleviate postpartum depression, aid in breastmilk production and lactation, act as a uterine tonic, and replenish nutrients lost during pregnancy.

Fresh Placenta, simmering with fresh Ginger, Lemon, and Jalapeño
Her recipe follows Chinese traditions where the placenta is braised with a knob of fresh Ginger, a Lemon, and a Jalapeño Pepper. The result is a rich broth and something that looks like overcooked brisket. The cooked placenta is usually then sliced, placed in a food de-hydrator, ground into a powder, and encapsulated as a supplement

According to one new father,

“It tastes like jerky. Dry, gamey, bland jerky.”

Know anyone who's tried this??

All photos courtesy Kathryn Parker Almanas

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Now, this is my kind of competition...

The Texas Roadhouse Meat Cutting Challenge had it's preliminary rounds recently in Louisville, Kentucky. And, as can be expected, the competition was intense; check out the above Video.

This competition brings Butchers from all over the United States and pits knife skills against meat to see who reigns supreme and claims the $20,000.00 USD beefy prize.

The finals aren't until next year; I'll keep you posted and keep my knife skills honed...

Friday, August 26, 2011

More Beer....

Why this week turned into an unofficial "Beer Week", I'll never know; I drink Whisky.

Anyhoodle, to wrap up the week on an apropriatly beer-y note here are a bunch of

Useless Facts About Beer!

Unlike wines, most beers should be stored upright to minimize oxidation and metal or plastic contamination from the cap. High-alcohol ales, however, which continue to ferment in their corked bottles, should be stored on their sides. 

Studying the experimentally induced intoxicated behavior of ants in 1888, naturalist John Lubbock noticed that the insects that had too much to drink were picked up by nest mates and carried home. Conversely, drunken strangers were summarily tossed in a ditch. 

Despite the month implied by its name, Munich's annual 16-day Oktoberfest actually begins in mid-September and ends on the first Sunday in October. 

The familiar Bass symbol, a red triangle, was registered in 1876 and is the world's oldest trademark. 

According to a journal entry from 1636, farm workers in the colony of Quebec not only received an allowance of flour, lard, oil, vinegar, and codfish; they were also given "a chopine of cider a day or a quart of beer." 

In 1965, a Belgian royal decree mandated that lambics must contain a minimum of 35% wheat. It also ordered that labels state the name and location of the brewery. 

Beck's in not only Germany's top export beer, it also accounts for 85% of all German beer exports to the United States. 

Pennsylvania has had more breweries in its history than any other state. In 1910 alone, 119 of the state's towns had at least one licensed beermaker. 

In their efforts to regulate beer quality, the ancient Babylonians, who were among history's earliest brewers, decreed that any commercial beermaker who sold unfit beer would be drowned in his/her own libation. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Beer and Chicken!

Since we spent the week talking about healthy beer, making beer, and expensive beer, let's finally cook with Beer!!

A Jamaican Chicken

Jamaican Chicken with Shiracha over Coconut Laurel Rice


A taste of the Islands. As you read this, pots of this are simmering all over the island of Jamaica. Sometimes referred to as ‘Brown Chicken’, this dish could be considered the national dish of Jamaica. Every family on the Island has their own version of this, making each one unique.

Being from New York City, (hey, we have a ‘Jamaica’ here in Queens, ya know) I consulted with Brother Rashan and my other my Rasta brethren; here is my version of the traditional Islands classic.

  • A large heavy-bottomed Sauté Pan with high sides and a Lid that fits, large enough to hold all of the chicken in one layer
  • Your trusty Wooden Spoon
  • A very sharp Knife
  • Handy heavy Kitchen Tongs
  • A large Mixing Bowl
  • A large Dinner Plate
  • Some Paper Towels
  • The omnipresent Coffee Mug

About three (3) lbs. (1.5 kg.) of Chicken Thighs (skin on and bone in)
For this recipe, much like my Chicken Cacciatore, I prefer the thighs only. They have much more flavor than other parts of the chicken and are easily available in “econo-packs” at your local Über-Mart. I usually use about six (6) thighs for this recipe, but you can use more or less, depending on what’s on sale. Now, whole or split breast parts can also be used, for those opposed to thigh meat only. Personally, a whole chicken cut up into eight (8) pieces works great and is the preferred method down in the Islands. Regardless, all of the techniques are the same; it’s your call.

Two (2) large Green Bell Peppers
Yes, yes, you can use another colour if you want. I just like the green one for this, so there!

One (1) Large Vidalia Onion or any other sweet onion
Or a Maui, or a Walla Walla, just make sure that it’s sweet. If you cannot find a sweet onion, a large Red Onion will do nicely.

Four (4) large cloves of Fresh Garlic
Use the real stuff guys none of that jarred crap; how many times do I have to tell you?

One can (either 10 or 14 oz.) of Unsweetened Coconut Milk
This is usually found in the Asian section of your local Über-Mart. Now, this is very important, Unsweetened Coconut Milk is not the same as regular coconut milk, crème of coconut, or that “Coco Goya Piña Colada Mix” leftover from last week’s Daquiri Thursday that you don’t ever remember buying. Do not be fooled and think that you can substitute; you can’t. If you cannot find any unsweetened coconut milk some half-and-half with a few drops of coconut extract will work or use shredded dried coconut mixed with water in a blender and strain. It won’t be the same but you can get away with it.

One (1) bottle of Red Stripe or other Jamaican Lager Beer
IRIE!! Mon!

A few Bay Leaves

Two (2) stalks of fresh Lemongrass (partially OPTIONAL)
So, what the heck is a lemon grass? And no, it’s not grass seed that won’t sprout. Lemongrass is an herb with a light citrusy flavor (strange how that works) commonly used in Asian and African cuisines. It comes in stalks that look like green onions with rigor mortis. Many specialty markets carry this next to the fresh Cilantro. Some markets have dried or powdered Lemongrass, but that will not work here. Use the fresh if you can find it. If you cannot find this, just omit it, the dish won’t be ruined, everything cook-and-curry.

Fresh Cilantro or Coriander leaves

Fresh Scallions or Green Onions

Olive Oyl

Kosher Salt

Freshly ground Black pepper

Your favorite Reggae Music
Mighty Sparrow being a perennial favorite

Now, the rest of these ingredients are entirely OPTIONAL. I’ve found that the addition of any one of these at the end really liven up the dish. This is completely up to you.

Dendê Oil
Siracha Hot Sauce
Sambal (Thai Chili Garlic Paste)
Sundried tomato paste

Set the mood, turn on some Reggae Music. Toots and the Maytals, anyone?

Place the Sauté Pan on medium heat to warm up.

Wash the Chicken under cold water and pat dry using some Paper Towels. Season the Chicken, on both sides, with a sprinkle of Kosher Salt and a few grinds of Black Pepper.

When the Sauté Pan is hot, add the Chicken, skin side down, to the dry pan. Everything will sizzle and make lots of noise, it’s quite festive. Brown the chicken well on both sides, in batches, turning once, about fifteen (15) minutes total. Don’t worry if the Chicken sticks to the bottom of the pan; just loosen them up using your Heavy Tongs.

TECHNIQUE NOTE : Dark meat Chicken contains much more fat than white meat chicken. And, since we’re using skin-on Chicken parts, the Chicken will render out it’s own fat and lubricate the pan. If your nervous or are using a cheap pan, add a glug of Olive Oyl to the pan to get things going before you add the Chicken.

While the Chicken browns, let’s get to the rest of it. Peel and chop the Vidalia Onion into thick half-moon shaped slices using your very sharp Knife. Place the chopped Onion into the Large Mixing Bowl. Peel, smash, and chop the Garlic. Add the Garlic to the Mixing Bowl with the Onion to get the party started. Wash and de-seed the Green Bell Peppers. Slice the Peppers lengthwise into strips about the thickness of your thumb. Add the Peppers to the Mixing Bowl with the Onions and Garlic; it will be festive.

Go flip the Chicken over using your Heavy Tongs. Kick back and enjoy the sounds of Burning Spear; come back in about ten (10) minutes.

When the Chicken is well browned all over, remove them from the pan and place them on a Large Dinner Plate to cool.

Pour off all but about one (1) tablespoon of the redered Chicken Fat in the pan into the Coffee Mug (we’ll make ‘Schmaltz’ later, it’s a Jewish thing).

Shake the can of Coconut Milk to the beat of Eek-A-Mouse and add it to the Sauté Pan (the milk not the can, half-wit). Add about two thirds of a bottle of Red Stripe beer, or whatever beer that you are using, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Let this boil for about two (2) minutes.

While this is boiling, return to the Chicken and remove the skin. It should come right off. Either keep the skin to make gribenes (another Jewish thing) or feed it to the dog.

Add the Chicken and any accumulated juices to the boiling Coconut Milk and Beer, reduce the heat to a very low simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for about thirty (30) minutes, turning the Chicken about halfway through.

Go wash the Large Dinner Plate and ease-up, mon.

After about thirty (30) minutes, remove the Chicken using your Heavy Tongs and place them onto the clean Large Dinner Plate. Set this off to the side to relax.

Remember the Onions, Garlic, and Peppers, they’ve been whooping it up for a while now. Add them to the Coconut Milk and Beer along with two (2) Bay Leaves, a sprinkle of Kosher Salt, and a few grinds of Black Pepper; give everything a good stir with your Wooden Spoon. Simmer for about ten (10) minutes.

While this begins to simmer, take the Lemongrass, if you are using it, and chop off the tough top stalk and trim the bottom. We want the tender white part only. Peel the white part and chop the Lemongrass into small rings. Add these to the Sauté Pan and give it a good stir.

After about ten (10) minutes, return the Chicken and any accumulated juices and give everything a good stir with you Wooden Spoon to combine. Simmer for another ten (10) to fifteen (15) minutes or so.

At this time, if the sauce begins to look too thick, add the remaining beer, otherwise drink it! Wouldn’t want it to go to waste.

When the Chicken is just falling off the bone add any of these OPTIONS, Palm oil or Dendê Oil, for a Brasilian rhythm, Thai Chili Garlic Sauce, for a spicy Indonesian flair, or some Sundried Tomato Paste, for a North African feel. All of these are optional and only enhance what is already a very flavorful dish.

Serve with some plain White Rice and some Siracha hot sauce on the side or, if you really want to be fancy, with some Coconut and Kaffir Lime flavoured Rice or some Jeera Rice. You can go look those up yourselves!

Garnish with a sprinkle of fresh chopped Cilantro and Scallions.

This dish can be made ahead of time and simply covered with a Lid and left alone to come to room temperature. Personally, I'll make this in the morning and just leave it covered on the stovetop until later in the day. The flavors combine and become more intense over time and, especially, the next day.

Seafood. One of the most popular options is to substitute Shrimp, Prawns, or Caribbean Spiny Lobster for the Chicken. This almost becomes a completely different dish because seafood takes much less time to cook and the cooking order is completely different. If you want to use Shrimp or Lobster, add the Coconut Milk, Beer, Lemongrass, and Bay Leaves to the pan and bring to a simmer. Simmer for  about fifteen (15) minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the Onions, Garlic, and Bell Peppers. Simmer for about fifteen (15) minutes. Add the Shrimp or Lobster and cook until just cooked through, depending on the size, between five (5) and eight (8) minutes. Serve immediately.

Firm Tofu would be a great way to make this dish completely vegan. If wanting to go the vegan route, simply cube up the Tofu and sauté in Olive Oyl until crispy. Remove from the pan and proceed as with the above Seafood variation.

Nyami-Nyami, Bra'!!

Recipe and Photo ©2011, L. M. Sorré, Wait At The Bar

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Since we've learned that beer is healthy and how to make it this week,
what about

The World's Most Expensive Beer?

Behold :

At about $800.00 USD for a twelve (12) ounce (355 ml.) bottle, Antarctic Nail Ale takes the cake. Only thirty (30) bottles have been brewed made from genuine Antarctic ice, the beer not the bottle, moron. Every penny of the sale of the beer goes to a charity opposing whaling in the Antarctic. Only thirty (30) bottle of this beer have been produced and, so far, only one (1) bottle has been sold at auction.

Now, all of this beer largess is well and good, but what about something a bit closer to my wallet on the Budweiser® scale?

I bring you my personal favorite :

This is NOT Photoshop-ed

Brewdog's "The End of History" is a Belgian style Blond Ale that goes for $765.00 USD a bottle. Each bottle comes encased in the body of an actual dead Squirrel or Weasel done by a professional taxidermist (I am not making this up, look HERE if you don't believe me). Only eleven (11) bottles have been produced thus far, four (4) grey Squirrels and seven (7) Weasels, all from road kill in Scotland.

Now, anything that has a stuffed Stoat as a beer cozy must pack a punch. Registering in at 50% alcohol by volume, this beer is also one of the world's strongest and should be more than enough to get you and your dead Squirrel on your merry way.

If road kill isn't your thing, you may want to try this :

Carlsberg Vintage 3, is truly the one of the most elegant of all the high-priced beers. Vintage 3 is the third (ya think?) in the venerable brew makers catalogue that has been aged in French Côte d'Or Oak Barrels, much like wine, and bottled with labels designed by prominent artists. Only one-thousand (1000) bottles of Vintage 3 have been produced for the reasonable price of $348.00 a bottle.

For a more domestic experience, you could try this :

Not to be outdone by their European counterparts, Samuel Adams has come out with the Samuel Adams Utopias. The Utopias is served in its own miniature copper plated kettle and served un-carbonated at room temperature for $100.00 USD per bottle. At about $12 an ounce this beer really packs a punch, especially at a liver destroying fifty (50) proof!

For those who prefer history over hype, you could try this :

Tutankhamun Ale claims to be made using the oldest recorded recipe for beer that was found in Queen Nefertiti's Temple of the Sun in Egypt. According to Cambridge University, this recipe dates to around 1300 B.C. and was produced initially as an experiment. Only one-thousand (1000) bottles were initially produced and the resulting brew was described as having a hazy, gold color, and tasting fruity, grainy, with caramel/toffee, sweet, spicy/astringent, and with a dry finish. All this for the ancient world bargain price of $52.00 USD per bottle. This works for my budget, almost.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Making It....

Well, since we spent yesterday talking about the health benefits of beer, what about making the stuff yourself?

Home brewing has become very popular in recent years with many an amateur brew-meister striving to become the next Adolph Coors.

Think you can take me on, punk?
Home brewing kits are available in all types and price ranges to meet virtually any beer aficionado's desires; just check out Home Brewing for everything you could possibly need.

Now, all of this "home brewing" is very well and good for those of us with the time, wherewithal, square footage, knack, savvy, lots and lots and lots of patience, and especially the stomach for sometimes lethal experimentation to create the very best late autumn harvest horseradish-beetroot amber bok.

Depending on your recipe and how carefully you measured out every hop to the exact micro-gram, maintained utterly sterile conditions, insured critically exact temperatures in your cooker, and waited around for a whole month, yes you read that right, one full month, you may wind up with mouldy skunky swill and have to start all over again.

So, what's a beer lover to do?

Well, WilliamsWarn has got you covered.

Ian Williams and Anders Warn have created the world's first personal home brewing machine!

Check out the Video!

For about $5,660.00 NZD, or $4,600.00 US, you too can have fresh beer on demand in the comfort of your own home in about a week, just like Adolph Coors and the rest of the commercial beer manufacturers.

This baby makes 23 litres, or six (6) US gallons, of your favorite brew in one weeks time. Just add some malt, yeast, water, fiddle with a few dials, and ice cold clear draft beer is your for the guzzling. And the best part, when you get low on beer, just bottle up the last six (6) litres in the machine and start another batch!!

Thanks to WilliamsWarn for making sure that we can live the dream and never run out of Beer!

Monday, August 22, 2011


Today's burning question...

What are the health benefits of Beer?

Surprisingly, beer actually does have some health benefits. Despite it's reputation as "man's ruin", beer contains a number of natural antioxidants and vitamins that can help prevent heart disease and even rebuild muscle. Beer also has one of the highest energy content by weight of any food or beverage.

Of course, this means that you need to set limits – one beer gets the party started, four beers make you fat. 

Now, if you’re worried about dehydration, keep in mind that beer is 93% water, this is why we only "rent" beer as it goes through the system very quickly. According to a Spanish study, Beer may actually provide better hydration than Water alone, when you’re sweating it all out under the blistering sun.

So, what's the best beer for you?

Calorie-wise, you may be tempted to grab a light lager, but, for health benefits, a dark beer is the better choice. Dark beers tend to have the most antioxidants, which help reverse cellular damage that occurs naturally in the body. A recent study published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture has also found that dark beer has a higher iron content compared to lighter beers. Remember, iron is an essential mineral that our bodies needs; it is a part of all cells and does many jobs, most importantly, carrying oxygen from our lungs throughout the rest of our bodies. 

Another good health choice is microbrews, which are healthier than mass-produced cans, because they have more hops. Hops contain polyphenols, which can help lower cholesterol, fight cancer, and kill viruses. 

See you in the tap room.....

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Would you eat a two-week-old sandwich?

A two-week-old sandwich doesn’t seem like a very yummy concept. Stale slightly cardboard-y bread with a hint of mold and whatever congealed filling that has turned grey, green, and lavender with time. Scrumptious!

A Ten-Year-Old Sandwich from Germany
However, according to food scientists, we’ll soon be able to buy and safely eat sandwiches that remain as fresh on day 14 as the day that they were assembled. The trick, they say, is in the ingredients and a protective atmosphere inside the packaging.

A company named Booker Wholesale is about to start supplying these "forever" sandwiches to convenience stores and corner shops throughout the United Kingdom, bucking the trend by most commercial food producers to emphasise freshness. These sandwiches will come in Chicken Tikka, Ploughman’s (Ham, Cheese, Pickle Relish, for you Yanks), and Tuna-Mayonnaise varieties. They will all be made made with Oatmeal bread, chosen because it lasts a long time. 

Doesn't sound so bad, but how does all this work?

The secret is to suck out all of the oxygen from the packaging and replace it with nitrogen gas and carbon dioxide. All of the fillings are then mixed with a slightly acidic mayonnaise, which acts as a preservative. Lettuce and tomatoes are a no-no as they tend to go soggy and rot at a moments notice.

"The product is as fresh on day fourteen as it is on day one," claimed Ray Boggiano, a food technologist who has spent almost a year developing the sandwich.

"The science is not new," said Mr Boggiano. "It’s all about using a protective atmosphere in the packaging. It’s the same technology that is used in packaged sliced meats. That’s the basis." 

All right, all of this doesn't sound too bad, but what about nutrition? Remember what Mom always said, "Eat your greens."

Dr. Carina Norris, a nutritionist, said that the long shelf life may come at the cost of nutritional value. She said, "People should be packing their sandwiches with as much salad as possible. It is the perfect opportunity to get one of your five-a-day [allotment of fruit and vegetables]. Fresh is always best, you should always aim for the freshest possible ingredients in everything you eat. It may be safe to eat, but nutrients could be lost in the ingredients over those fourteen days."

So, for $2.50, or £1.40, we can still eat cardboard, not get any nutrition, and keep all of the supermarkets in business.

Sounds like progress.....

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Whether clear, cloudy, or fizzy,

Lemonade means summer.

And what better way to enjoy Lemonade than to make it yourself.

Yes, yes, we all have our own childhood recipe from when we tried to become the next Nelson Rockefeller by setting up our own Lemonade stand on the street corner selling our liquid gold before the board of health got wise because we didn't have a food handling certificate or the police department came by and shut us down because we did not have a street vendor licence. At least thats how things work here in New York City, anyways.

Summertime Lemonade

The key thing when making Lemonade, aside from the lemons, is the sugar. Personally, the best and most foolproof way to mix this is by using a simple syrup. This allows you to very accurately judge how sweet or tart you would like your Lemonade and to adjust for variables in the quality of your lemons.

  • 1 cup of Caster (White) Sugar (this can be reduced to 3/4 cup depending on your taste) 
  • 1 cup of Water (for the simple syrup) 
  • 1 cup of fresh Lemon Juice (DO NOT use that stuff in the green plastic bottle shaped like a lemon! Use the real deal here.)
  • 3 to 4 cups of cold Water (to dilute) 

Start by making a simple syrup. Heat the Sugar and the one (1) cup of Water in a small saucepan on low heat until the Sugar is dissolved completely. 

While the Sugar is dissolving, use a juicer or a fork to extract the juice from about four (4) to six (6) Lemons, or enough for about one (1) cup of juice. 

Add the juice and the sugar syrup to a pitcher. Add three (3) to four (4) cups of Cold Water, more or less, to mix it to your desired taste and strength.

Refrigerate for thirty (30) to forty (40) minutes.

NOTE : If the Lemonade is a little sweet for your taste, add a little more straight lemon juice to it to tart it up.

Serve with ice and additional sliced Lemons for garnish.

Happy National Lemonade Day, Y'all!

©2011 Wait At The Bar