2009-05-07 / Features

Lemonade Sweetens The Sour Economy

By Jim Romanoff FOR THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

A sour economy is the perfect time to follow that old lemonade adage and make the most of life's lemons. Especially if you're looking for something sweet, refreshing and inexpensive to serve this summer.

But that doesn't mean you have to stick with the classic blend of lemon juice, sugar and water.

Start by using the frozen lemon juice sold in plastic squeeze bottles, which can be found with other frozen juices. One bottle usually costs around $2. You get about a cup of good quality juice for considerably less than squeezing your own lemons.

For adults, this tropical lemonade wine cooler can quench a thirsty crowd for a little over $1 per serving. It's a great way to stretch a bottle of inexpensive table wine.

For the kids, try red plum lemonade, which can be made for about 50 cents per serving. The plums give the drink a beautiful rosy blush and add their own tart flavor to the refreshing mix.

Tropical Lemonade Wine Cooler

Start to finish: 1 hour 15 minutes (15 minutes active)

Servings: 10 to 12 (about 2 1/2 quarts)

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup lemon juice

1/2 ripe pineapple, thinly sliced

1 ripe mango, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced

1 orange (not peeled), thinly sliced

750-milliliter bottle dry white wine

3 cups cold water

In a large pitcher, mix the sugar and lemon juice until the sugar is dissolved. Add the fruit, wine and water, then stir well. While stirring, use the spoon to gently crush the fruit to release the juices. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Serve over ice.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 115 calories; 1 calories from fat; 0 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 19 g carbohydrate; 0 g protein; 1 g fiber; 6 mg sodium.

Red Plum Lemonade Start to finish: 10 minutes

Servings: 8 (about 2 quarts)

1 pound small, ripe red plums, halved and pitted

3/4 cup sugar 6 cups water, divided

1 cup lemon juice

In a blender, combine the plums, sugar and 2 cups of water. Puree until smooth. Pour through a fine strainer into a pitcher, pressing with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to extract as much of the juice as possible. Discard the solids. Stir in the lemon juice and remaining 4 cups of water. Serve over ice.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 79 calories; 1 calories from fat; 0 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 23 g carbohydrate; 1 g protein; 1 g fiber; 7 mg sodium.

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