Friday, July 9, 2010

Grown Up Lemonade

Whilst watching a terrific old episode of The Galloping Gourmet the other day, Graham Kerr reminded me of what a fantastic combination lemon and cardamom make. And this time of year we are always looking for a cool cocktail to moderate the 105° temperatures. I think that this classic fits the bill.

Cardamom Lemonade

  • 40 whole cardamom pods, coarsely cracked with the side of a heavy knife
  • 1 cup sugar or honey
  • 3 cups good water
  • 2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 750 ml bottle inexpensive asti – you want something sweet and light, not syrupy. Our current favorite is Cinzano Asti available at BevMo and probably a grocery store near you.
  • Good ice
  • Lemon slices and mint leaves for garnish
Combine cracked cardamom pods, sugar or honey and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes, attending carefully so it does not begin to caramelize. Cool completely and refrigerate for at least 2 hours – this may be done up to three days in advance.

Strain into a 3 quart pitcher. Add lemon juice and Asti. Depending on the honey/sugar/Asti used, you may want to add additional sweetening now. Serve in tall, generously iced glasses with a slice of lemon in the glass and a sprig of mint atop, if desired.

Makes 6 servings. Serves 1.

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