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Is there anything better on a hot day than a glass of ice cold lemonade? We don’t think so, but we have to admit to being seriously disappointed by most pre-made lemonades on the market. They’re either too sweet, too watery, or are missing that fresh flavor that only comes from using fresh juice. So when Ina Garten recently shared a 20 year old video of the first episode of “Barefoot Contessa,” in which she made her fresh lemonade, we were immediately entranced. Whether you need to beat the heat over Labor Day weekend, or have an abundance of lemons from your backyard tree this coming winter, you’ll want to bookmark Garten’s lemonade recipe — it’s just that good.
Garten calls for the juice of six lemons. To make quick work of the task, and to protect her hands from the acidic juice, she uses an electric citrus juicer.
To that, she adds a slightly less than a cup of extra-fine sugar.
You can buy some, or you can just blitz some regular granulated sugar in your blender or food processor until it’s somewhere between granulated and powdered sugar. This helps the sugar dissolve in cold beverages. Extra-fine sugar is also a great ingredient to have on hand for cocktails, if you don’t feel like making a batch of simple syrup.
Garten then adds a cup of ice, and four cups of water, to a blender along with the lemon juice and sugar. Blending helps the sugar dissolve, and the ingredients combine together flawlessly. And while it’s not quite a frozen drink, blending ice into the lemonade does help to super-chill it so it’s as refreshing as possible. The recipe is pure, classic Barefoot Contessa.
But lemonade isn’t just for summer. Since lemons are actually in season in the winter, this lemonade makes a great base for festive cocktails, too. Imagine it mixed with gin, or sweetened with some rosemary simple syrup, with sugared cranberries as garnish. Or, mixed with prosecco and rasberries to make a fun New Year’s spritzer. The options are endless, and the recipe is just more proof that Ina Garten has been making culinary miracles happen for more than two decades.
Before you go, check out Garten’s best dinner recipes below:
Watch: We Tried Ina Garten’s Overnight Mac & Cheese & We Totally Get Why It Broke the Internet