Got Mushed Raspberries? Make Lemonade.

When the weather turns from spring to summer, we all turn to a cold beverage, an elixir of sorts to help restore the heat-induced balance. For some, it's iced tea. For me, it's lemonade.

The freshly squeezed juice of several lemons sweetened and poured over ice is a tonic unlike no other; lemonade revives me, gives me a chance to momentarily pause and I love the bio-chemical rush of all that Vitamin C.


Raspberry lemonade -- what the weather doctor ordered. (Kim O'Donnel)

At this time of year, I keep tabs (and give props to) restaurants that take the extra time to squeeze lemons for ade-freaks like me. Recently, I've had stellar lemonade at Rasika and 2Amys, as well as ade-standbys such as Colorado Kitchen and Pizzeria Paradiso.

On Friday, I treated myself to lunch at Equinox, where I perched myself at the bar. When I made my lemonade inquiry, the bartender responds affirmatively, but instead delivers a glass of punch in a stunning pinky-red shade that could only mean one thing: raspberries.

I've doctored up lemonade with blueberries, another gorgeous combination with a veritable antioxidant boost, but raspberries I had yet to try.

The next day at Arlington Courthouse farm market, I stood in line for a few half-pints of just-picked raspberries from Westmoreland Berry Farm of Oak Grove, Va.

The one caveat about buying raspberries is that you must eat them almost immediately to maximize the visual (and gustatory) experience. A few hours on the counter above 80 degrees, and those precious gems quickly begin to mold and break down into mush.

Should that happen, as it did to me, get busy pureeing and whip up a batch of berry-lemonade. It's the best berry Plan B out there, and a wake-up call for your tired palate.

Share your favorite ways to turn lemons into lemonade, or perhaps you'd like to duke it out with a killer iced tea recipe that will make me change my mind. Bring it on...

Raspberry Lemonade

Ingredients
1 pint (2 cups) raspberries, picked over
½-1 cup granulated or superfine sugar, depending on tartness of berries
1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 6 lemons' worth)
2 cups cold water


Method
In the bowl of a food processor or blender, add raspberries and begin to puree. Add ½ cup of sugar and combine; taste for sweetness and add more to taste. Keep in mind that the eventual addition of lemon juice will tilt the flavor barometer in the tart direction.

Puree until mixture is smooth. With a rubber spatula, scoop puree out of bowl and into a fine sieve set atop a mixing bowl. Pass puree through sieve, leaving seeds behind. Resulting mixture should be smooth and free of seeds.

Pour berry puree into a half-gallon pitcher and add lemon juice and water. Stir to combine. Pour into glasses over ice. Garnish with lime slices, mint or more raspberries.

By Kim ODonnel |  June 18, 2007; 9:45 AM ET Liquid Diet , Spring Produce
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Our minister has a summer contest -- in exchange for a "pastoral" visit he receives either Iced Tea or Lemonade. At the end of the summer, the best Iced Tea or Lemonade get a prize!

Since I don't compete, I do food instead, I invited minister and wife to share plank grilled salmon, stuffed zucchini and cousous with roasted chickpeas. Of course they were greated at the door with ice cold, hand squeezed lemonade dotted with frozen raspberries which soon melted down and pinked up the lemonade.

His recent newsletter cited "stiff" competition in the lemonade contest. Mr. Columbia thinks it might have been the vodka we served alongside the lemonade, but I think it was the raspberries ;)

Posted by: columbia MO | June 18, 2007 11:18 AM

I recently visited Vegetate in DC and their rosemary limeade is phenomenal. Yumm!

Lavender infused lemonade is also a delicious concoction. I tried it at the Riverdale Park Farmer's Market quite a few years ago but have yet to try and make it.

Posted by: vegan girl | June 18, 2007 11:39 AM

Rosemary limeade? Wow... I'm going to have to try to make that. I just made a lovely summer beverage out of lavender-infused simple syrup and sparkling mineral water (the recipe is at http://www.theinadvertentgardener.com), but I might just have to try the raspberry lemonade, as well...

Posted by: The Inadvertent Gardener | June 18, 2007 12:17 PM

Ooooh, Columbia MO! May I come over for dinner? Please?

Posted by: MJ | June 18, 2007 12:21 PM

Hmm...let me fix that link for you...

http://www.theinadvertentgardener.com

The post is called "Lavender cooler." :-)

Posted by: The Inadvertent Gardener | June 18, 2007 12:22 PM

Rosemary.... I prefer tarragon lemonade.

Posted by: bigolpoofer | June 18, 2007 1:26 PM

had a great ginger limeade at Teaism a few weeks ago - a friend I was with made from scratch a few days later and said it was good, too. LOVE that ginger!

Posted by: a ginger fan | June 18, 2007 2:23 PM

Lemons are too expensive these days to waste, so I buy lemons in bags of a dozen or more from Costco, then squeeze and freeze them in one cup amounts in ziplock bags. I find the juice does not change its flavor or any other noticeable property when defrosted, and the juice will last for two weeks more in the refrigerator.

Posted by: dodie | June 28, 2007 12:32 PM

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