It’s stinking hot today and I am sitting at work in the struggling air-conditioning, completely failing to keep my body temperature ambient. Despite being surrounded by some of the best beers the world has to offer, I’m not in the mood. I just want to be refreshed dammit, and water just isn’t cutting it anymore.
So my thoughts turn to soft drinks. Conventional soft drinks are far too sweet for me, not to mention packed full of nasties. I’ve become quite hooked on the Organic Ginger Beer from Hepburn Springs that I discovered at Vegetable Connection and ordered for the restaurant the next day (their blood orange mineral water is killer with Campari too), but I’m not in the mood.
Over Christmas at my parents house in the Noosa hinterland my mum was making a batch of what she called “lemon drink” in her trusty Thermomix every day that we drank by the bucketload. I called her for the recipe, but not having a Thermomix and only having about two minutes in the kitchen before the chefs start yelling at me, I adapted the recipe somewhat.
So it’s simple, but it’s delicious. And I’m about to polish off a second glass. My body almost feels a normal temperature now. Almost.
Lemonade or “Lemon Drink”
70 g sugar (raw sugar if you have it – it gives a little more depth of flavour)
500 ml water
Freshly picked mint leaves
Place the lemons in the bowl of a food process or blender with a tiny splash of water and process as much as you can. Strain, squeezing out all the juice.
Add the sugar, water and lemon juice to a saucepan and bring to the boil. Let it simmer for a few minutes until the sugar has dissolved and you have a delicious lemon syrup. Add more lemon or water or sugar to taste. Remove from the heat and cool completely.
Fill a glass with ice, add a few torn mint leaves, pour in enough lemon to fill halfway and top up with soda water.
Drink on a hot summer’s day, preferably not at work.