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When Life Gives You Lemons...

...make lemonade!


I grew up with a huge lemon tree in my backyard. In the summers, my sisters and I would pick these lemons, make lemonade, and sell it (okay, more like give it away...) on our sidewalk for 25 cents a cup. Although these simpler days have gone by, I can conjure up these sweet memories with the right kind of weather and the perfect glass of fresh lemonade:

1. Gather 4 ripe lemons.
2. Cut 3 lemons in half (reserve 1 lemon for garnishing).
3. Squeeze lemons into small bowl.
4. Add 1/2 cup of sugar to bowl of fresh lemon juice and stir well.
5. Mix lemon juice mixture into a pitcher of ice cold water (about 4 to 6 cups* depending on how tart you like your lemonade).

*Serves 6 with ice and sliced lemons.

Surprise your guests with one of these twists on the classic:
Watermelon Lemonade: Puree 4 cups of cubed watermelon in a blender and strain through a fine sieve. Mix the strained watermelon juice with the lemonade recipe above. Experiment with honey or agave to sweeten.

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Sparkling Mint Lemonade: Replace water with 4 to 6 cups of sparkling water and muddle with 3 tablespoons of crushed mint for a special summer drink.

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Lavender Lemonade: Add lavender simple syrup for a sophisticated twist.

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Lemonade Sangria: For a more "adult" beverage, add orange juice, dry white wine and sliced fresh fruit (cherries, apples and oranges). This easy cocktail will get you lots of compliments!

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What easy warm weather recipes do you whip up to welcome summer?

(Photos by Krizia Sapida)