- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Who can resist a glass of refreshing lemonade on a hot summer day? For fun, consider making individual servings the old-fashioned way, by squeezing lemons by hand.

The sheer ritual of it will slow you down so you enjoy the drink even more. Invite the children to join in. It’s a magical process. They will particularly enjoy it when you spoon in the cranberry juice concentrate and watch for the sunrise effect.

This recipe is sweetened with a syrup made ahead of time. Simple syrup, as it is known, is a mixture of water and sugar that blends perfectly when you want a bit of sweetness but no texture.

If you have extra syrup and lemon juice left over, store them in separate, labeled jars in the refrigerator so that you (or your child) can prepare more homemade lemonade on short notice.

A few suggestions: This recipe calls for 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice per serving. I recommend that you squeeze at least 3 or 4 lemons at a time, so you can accumulate a quantity of juice and then measure out each portion as needed.

Only an adult should cut the lemons. Save this recipe for a time when everyone’s hands are free of cuts.

The best way to help a small child squeeze the juice: Hold the juicer steady while your child pushes and twists. For maximum leverage, put the juicer on a low surface so the children can use their body weight to bear down while squeezing. I suggest using two hands.

If you don’t have a juicer, cut the lemons into quarters and have fun squeezing the juice into a large bowl. Strain the results into a pitcher.

You can use cranberry juice cocktail or cranapple juice concentrate in this drink. The frozen concentrate could be a little firm for digging up with a spoon. Young children may need help scooping it out.

Sunrise lemonade

1 large lemon (to yield 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice)

3 tablespoons simple syrup (recipe follows)

1 tablespoon frozen cranberry juice concentrate (not defrosted)

Ice cubes

Squeeze lemon on a juice squeezer. For each drink, measure 2 tablespoons of lemon juice into a drinking glass. Measure in 3 tablespoons simple syrup and stir, then add 3/4 cup water. Add frozen concentrate. It will sink to the bottom of the glass. Stir gently from the bottom to create a sunrise effect. Add ice cubes and enjoy. Makes 1 serving.

SIMPLE SYRUP:

Water

1/2 cup sugar

Combine 1/2 cup water with sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is completely dissolved. Cool at least to room temperature before using.

Makes about 1/2 cup.

Mollie Katzen is author of “Moosewood Cookbook” (Ten Speed Press). Her most recent book is “Salad People and More Real Recipes: A New Cookbook for Preschoolers & Up” (Tricycle Press).

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