Temperatures have been soaring around the country with records being broken. It was very hot here in the Chicago area last week and I didn’t feel like cooking which is unusual for me. All I wanted to do was stay hydrated.
I found a recipe in my flooded and dried out card catalog for a cold drink. It calls for frozen lemonade concentrate, cold water, a bit of sugar, and the finishing touch of fresh blackberries whirled in a blender then the seeds strained out and the liquid stirred into the lemonade. It’s so refreshing in a tall glass filled with ice, and is a beautiful color. We couldn’t get enough of it. It’s finally starting to cool down now, hopefully for good.
Let me tell you about this vintage pitcher. Bill and I were in a quaint little store in the nearby village of Long Grove where they keep a small area of antiques in the back of the store. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I spotted this pitcher. It was the pitcher I grew up with that was always filled with either lemonade, or the ever-popular Kool-Aid loved by kids in the 1950’s. I never knew what happened to my mom’s pitcher, but it probably got broken along the way when we moved a few times. I was thrilled to find an exact replacement that brought back so many memories of my mom pouring drinks in little Dixie cups on hot days for the neighborhood kids. She even would offer glasses of lemonade to the mailman and door-to-door salesmen like those who sold Fuller Brush products and Kirby Vacuum Cleaners. Mom took care of everyone.
The recipe makes a big batch so there is still some left over. It’s good just as is, but I mixed part blackberry lemonade, part fizzy lemon water and it was delicious. It would also be good mixed with some sparkling white wine. You could also make ice cubes out of any leftovers. I didn’t even throw out the strained berries; I swirled some into Greek yogurt and added a cut-up fresh juicy peach. Yum.
I hope you are all staying as cool as possible with a cold drink in hand. Before you know it, I’ll be posting hot beverage recipes for snowy winter days. Mom has recipes for those too.
- Three ½-pint baskets fresh blackberries, rinsed
- 12 cups water
- Two 12-ounce containers frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
- 3 Tablespoons sugar
- Ice cubes
- Lemon slices
- Puree berries in a blender. Strain through a sieve into a large bowl, pressing on solids with the back of a spoon.* Add the 12 cups water to blackberry juice in bowl along with the thawed lemonade concentrate, and sugar. Stir well to blend. Pour into pitchers (I needed to use 2 pitchers) and chill until very cold. Fill glasses with ice and pour lemonade over. Garnish with a lemon slice on the rim. *Note: you can either discard the solids or swirl some into plain Greek yogurt along with any other fruits for a delicious breakfast or snack!