I saw a sign the other day that said "August is the Sunday of Summer." It's so true.
I'm not a summer person. I'm perpetually ready for fall and winter. I don't love hot weather (and I love hot weather with dumb levels of humidity even less...thanks, midwest). I always resented having a summer birthday as a kid, because all my friends were on vacation and it made birthday parties pointless. I also loved school, so I was always a little bored during the summer.
Despite the fact that I'm not a summer person, working in higher education makes me at least appreciate summer a little bit. My workload decreases significantly, and I get time to work on other projects I end up putting off all year. It's quieter. People aren't as anxiety-ridden (in the case of the students) or ragey (in the case of the administrators).
As much as I love love love fall (I definitely asked Brandon yesterday if it was socially acceptable to start burning my pumpkin spice candles now), I'm not quite ready to let go of summer yet. I've still got some fun things coming up in August -- a new tattoo, and tickets to one of the events for the Chicago Food & Wine Festival. Once September hits, all hell will break loose at work, so I've gotta enjoy these last few weeks.
If you, too, are in the same boat...or maybe if all hell has already broken loose for you and you just want to desperately cling to summer...this lemonade will help you do just that. Oddly enough, there are no lemons, just limes. It's tart, and frothy, and sweet...it's refreshing on a hot day, and summery enough to act as a pick-me-up on a gloomy day. And it's crazy-simple to make. You probably need about 10-15 minutes, start to finish. And it acts as a most excellent vehicle for rum, if you're into that kind of thing (I certainly am.)
recipe compiled from every other recipe on the interwebs
makes four large glasses, or 6-8 smaller ones
4 to 6 medium, thin-skinned limes*
1 cup cold water
4 TB sweetened condensed milk
6 TB granulated sugar
2 cups cold water
3-4 cups ice
1.5 oz (one shot) of rum per serving (optional, but highly recommended)
*the best way to tell which limes are thin-skinned is to go by the texture of the skin. in my experience, thin-skinned limes have smoother skin than their thick-skinned brethren.
- Cut 4 limes in half, and juice. Set juice aside. You should have a little more than half a cup -- if you haven't reached that amount, juice more limes! Save the juiced halves -- don't throw them away yet!
- Take four of the thinnest-skinned halves that have already been juiced, and cut their weird little end nubbins off. Discard end nubbins, and throw the halves into the blender.
- Add one cup cold water to blender, and run blender for 45 to 60 seconds on high. It won't be perfectly smooth, but it should have pulverized the limes pretty well.
- Pour through a fine mesh strainer, making sure to press the pulp with the back of a spoon to extract all the liquid.
- Discard the pulp.
- Pour the liquid back into the blender, along with the reserved lime juice, condensed milk, sugar, and 2 cups cold water. Blend for 30 seconds.
- Add ice -- I started with 2 cups and added more to get the texture I wanted. Blend until smooth, taste, add more sugar and/or ice if desired.
- Serve in tall glasses, garnished with a lime wedge or sprig of mint and a straw.
- If you're using it, serve the shots of rum on the side, to be poured into the lemonade by each individual guest. It makes it more fun.
- If you want to make this ahead, just stop before you add ice. Add ice and blend right before serving.