Sunday 28 August 2011

Raspberry lemonade

Spring is on the way!  The sun has been shining with great promise for the last week or so.  We have been spoilt with two sunny weekends in a row.  Last weekend I was so optimistic.  E hung the washing outside.  Sylvia blew bubbles for Zinc to chase about the yard.  I weeded the garden and started making lemon barley water.

Then we went to CERES cafe which was understandably busy but the service left a lot to be desired.  Not its finest hour.  The same might be said of the lemon barley water.  I have been thinking about Lucy's recipe for some time.  It has occurred to me at many times this winter while I have wondered about what to do with all the meyer lemons produced by our little tree.

The sunshine last weekend seemed right for a refreshing cool drink.  My mum had told me I need to pick the lemons.  I don't eat so many lemons in winter.  But it seemed they wouldn't wait for summer.  So I put on the barley to soak.

I rubbed the sugar in the lemon rinds.  Lucy says that this is satisfying work.  I agree.  It left my fingers with a wonderful lemon scent.  I love lemon zest more than lemon juice.  It has a pleasingly intense fragrance.  The juice is just too tart for my liking.  So you see, I am not the biggest lemon fan.  Lemons are usually (and often) a bit player in my recipes, rarely the star. 

Making lemon drink was a risk.  Blame the lemons.  They looked so gorgeous.  Our own harvest seemed too special to fritter away with a tablespoon here and there.  I have enjoyed lemon barley water in the past.  The very idea of it attracted me.  It reminds me of sitting watching the tennis on the telly in summer with Ken Rosewell advertising barley water.  When our visit to CERES was such a disappointment, I was looking forward to coming home to a nice glass of lemonade.

I love  my fizzy drinks so I had decided to make it more concentrated and add soda water.  We sat in the sun on the verandah and tasted it.  The drink was nice but it wasn't very sweet and tasted far too much of lemon for my tastes.  So I bought some frozen raspberries to add with a bit of honey.  After gritting my teeth as I sieved the raspberries into the lemon mixture, I finished making my drink not mid afternoon but after dinner!

The drink still tasted quite lemony but with added sweetness and fruitiness.  It hasn't been a huge hit but Sylvia and I have enjoyed a glass from time to time during the week.  Sylvia had a cold last week and wasn't eating much so I figured that she could do worse than have the lemon, honey and extra energy in the drink.

This is definitely a drink for summer.  Maybe if our lemon tree gives us fruit in the warmer weather I will have another go at a pink lemonade.  I am not so sure about the honey, which I found had a strong flavour but I think that raspberry and lemon (or lime) is a great flavour combination.  With some ice blocks and a sprig or two or mint, this would be a fine cooling drink on a hot day.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year: Banana buttermilk muffins
This time two years ago:The old and the new – date scones and vego loaf
This time four years ago: WTSIM ... Beggars Burgers

Raspberry lemonade - work in progress
lemon barley part from Lucy
makes almost 750ml concentrate

3 tbsp barley (optional)
500ml water
4 medium lemons
1/2 cup raw sugar
2 cups raspberries (I used frozen)
1/3 cup honey (or other sweetener)
soda water and ice cubes, to serve (about 3-4 parts soda water to each part of concentrate)

Bring water and barley to the boil and simmer for about 15.  (Or don't add the barley, esp if you want a gluten free drink.)

While barley is simmering, peel lemon peel off lemon using a vegetable peeler. Mix peel and sugar in a heatproof bowl. Use your hands to rub sugar into peel to release the oils.

When barley has finished simmering, pour barley and hot water over lemon peels and sugar. Leave to cool.

I then gently heated raspberries and honey in a small saucepan but next time I would try just adding raspberries and honey to barley and water to soften them.

Sieve raspberry and lemon mixture together.  Keep concentrate in the fridge and serve with soda water and ice cubes, to taste.

On the stereo:
Elton John's Greatest Hits


  1. What an interesting recipe! I am so envious of your plentiful yield of lemons--I have never actually tasted a Meyer lemon, belieive it or not! I'm sure I'd love the combo of lemon and raspberry, though, as I am a fan of both (I even eat slices of lemon straight sometimes. . . I can see you puckering up at the thought!) ;)

  2. It might not have been quite to your taste, but it looks lovely - the pink is very attractive!

    I like lemons, but can understand people not liking them, in the same way that I dislike garlic, which everyone always assumes is universally liked. My dad doesn't like lemons either so I only started using lemons more when I left home!

  3. I think it sounds divine, and I do so love the colour that the raspberries lend. I wish I had summer to look forward to lol

  4. Oh the coming of spring! The weather here is so horrible I am thinking about getting the autumn duvet out.

    The lemonade sounds delicious! I shall make some and pretend it is still summer.

  5. what a lovely way to use up an abundance of lemons!~

  6. It's meant to hit 24'C here today - definitely spring! I wish it could just stop now and plateau over summer :)

    This recipe looks interesting, I've never thought to add barley to lemonade. I hope it helps Sylvia feel better.

  7. Oooh, that looks delicious - I'm a big fan of lemon, and love anything pink, so I might have to give this a go!

    Hope you are enjoying the sunshine today, even if it is a bit cooler :-)

  8. I keep meaning to try lemon barley water and then keep forgetting again. Oh your very own lemon tree, I am so envious. I love lemons and would use them even more if we had a plentiful supply. If you're not to keen on the tart taste of lemons, you could try adding some to stews, curries, middle eastern food etc at the end of cooking - a tbsp or so actually gives a lovely flavour and surprisingly a slightly sweet taste rather than a sour one.

    Hope the lemon and honey helps get rid of Sylvia's cold quickly.

  9. interesting! So you don't use the lemon juice at all for the lemonade?! Oh, if only we had Lemons growing here in London! Lots of apples though; any apple drinks you know?

  10. I am sorry to hear that about Ceres - my kids used to love going there. Lemons do present a bit of a challenge when they are so prolific.

  11. Thanks Ricki - I am puckering up! I am not enough of a lemon lover to appreciate meyer lemons - they are all just too tart for me but they did get so yellow as to almost be orange

    Thanks C - I loved the colour but I know what you mean about lemon being "universal" - I do use lemons but only to add flavour

    Thanks Chele - ah I remember being in Scotland and missing summers because they never seem to happen - made me appreciate our weather here

    Thanks Helen - hope this drink brings a sliver of summer to you - sorry summer never happened over in your neck of the woods

    Thanks Lisa - I do love the idea of home made lemonade

    Thanks Kari - the barley didn't have as much impact on the drink as I had hoped - just too overwhelmed by the lemon - but maybe more barley would please me more

    Thanks Brooke - the sunshine continues to delight - this weather definitely welcomes pink lemon drinks!

    Thanks Choclette - our lemon tree is small - not huge like some around us - but it is nice to have our own lemons - I do enjoy lemon in recipes but just not too much - sylvia is feeling better but behaving badly - if only there was a drink to fix that :-)

    Thanks Adam - actually I do have a drink with apple juice that I love - - and I did use some lemon but tried to abate the strong lemon flavour - a bit of lemon is fine - just not too much

    Thanks Amanda - I think it was a bad day for CERES rather than that it has gone downhill - I am sure I will be back though maybe will be a bit more wary if it is really busy

  12. I've never made my own lemonade but that just looks/sounds delicious!

  13. I'm so glad you shared the sweet potato soup recipe! I was drooling from the title alone!

    I think that we all have hits or misses...or recipes that are more fickle than others. It happens!

  14. well, it's supposed to taste of lemons 'cos it's lemon barley water...can't tell if you liked it or not...

    looks like it was a nice day in your lovely garden!

  15. Thanks Lucy - I wasn't overly keen - I think I would appreciate it more if it was really hot and the drink was really cold but I think my past experience of lemon barley water has not tasted so lemony - maybe it has been sweeter - so I think I was unsettled by my expectations of the drink tasting differently - didn't hate it but I think I need to experiment with lemon barley water further (in summer) to find a mix that suits me

  16. I'm so intrigued by the use of barley in lemonade!! What's it's purpose? Just to have chewy little grains? Hmm. Like bubble tea maybe.


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