Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Raspberry Lemonade

Fruit and I don't get on very well. I don't know why, I'd love to be friends, but for some reason we just get on better at a distance. I have managed to bring myself to be on generally good terms with apples, bananas, pineapples and pomegranates (you know, to be polite). Pears I will be nice to on a good day. Most others only get a look in if cooked or smoothied or juiced.

But then there's raspberries. Raspberries and I have formed a special relationship. Raspberries can do no wrong in my eyes, and are acceptable in any way, shape or form I can get them. Don't ask me why, but Raspberries and I are an inseperable.

In order to encourage this special relationship (and to up my intake of certain essential vitamins!), I always have a stash of raspberries in the freezer- buying them this way is far cheaper than fresh, there's no waste if we don't eat them in time (however unlikely that may be), they're always 'in season' and are perfect for using in most recipes. Even eaten alone, they make a fun snack in their frozen form!

I wanted to make a fun drink for our Olympics party on Friday, and I wanted it to be non-alcoholic as we had a friend coming who is due to give birth any day now (yay!). Having said that, this would be jolly nice with a splash of rum..... another day maybe....

Anyway, during my time in America Raspberry Lemonade became a firm favourite, and knowing that I had lemons and my usual stash of raspberries it didn't take me long to decide what that fun drink might be.

The result? Sweet and a little bit sour, packing a fruity punch and a little bit of fizz, this drink is going to be a regular in the Ellwood household- and I'll quite happily drink it all to myself!

Raspberry Lemonade
Makes about 2 litres

300g frozen raspberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Juice of 4 large lemons
1 litre sparkling water (plain or flavoured, your call)

1) Heat the cup of sugar and water in a saucepan over a medium heat until all the sugar has dissolved. Turn off the heat and leave to cool.

2) Add the raspberries and lemon juice to the sugar water and use an immersion blender to process until smooth.

3) Strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove all the seeds, pressing the seeds to make sure you get all the juice and flavour out. Pour the juice into a large jug.

4) Top up the jug with the sparkling water, then give it all a good stir. You can use plain sparkling water and it's beautifully refreshing, but we only had flavoured sparkling water (Apple and Raspberry, helpfully!) so I used that and now I think I always will- it helps to make this the most flavourful drink ever!

5) Serve over lots of ice and with a couple of lemon slices and dream of exotic places...

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