I love lemons, and I love lemonade. There are various excellent forms of Lemonade for sale – I love the Nantucket Nectars version although it’s far from subtle. San Pellegrino’s Limonata is a classic with a high lemon juice content, as is the more prosaic LemonSoda which is quite hard to find outside Italy. Tesco also had nice efforts down the years.
But what if you need a lemonade like, right now? It’s summer and it’s haht. Well, you should always have a lemon at home. That’s just common sense. Do you have sugar in your cupboard (some don’t). Do you have ice? I hope so. Water is a given. Raspberries are optional. If you look online for inspiration at this point, you will find lots of rather slow and boring recipes which involve boiling up syrup and then cooling it. This way takes 30 mins or more. Good for forward planners, you get a real sense of achievement and great for electricity and gas companies, who get your money twice (once for heating the water and once for cooling it). There are whole lemon versions (seems more earthy, must be better). There are also some rather desperate plans which involve not dissolving the sugar. These rapid-fire methods leave a lot do be desired, and waste sugar. They aren’t recipes in the traditional sense because they don’t work. You usually end up drinkslurping about a teaspoon of sugar at the end, which should have been counteracting the sourness of the lemon whilst you pretended to enjoy the diluted lemon juice.
Paula Deen and no doubt others got some of the way there, by using only a small volume of hot water, but well, here’s the real shortcut. We’re gonna dissolve the sugar in the lemon juice. This method has two advantages – you can get the juice hot and it’s such a small fraction of the drink volume that the heat capacity of the glass, the cold water and the ice will comfortably win the battle. Heating this small volume is also energy efficient because it is fast (Physics wins x 4! see below for details*). You can do this on the stove in a small saucepan (and can add peeled zest in this case). Don’t boil the lemon juice. The sugar will dissolve easily well before this point. BUT if you want to do this recipe in 60 seconds and with no washing up though, you’ll use a microwave.
Blitzschnell Raspberry Lemonade.
Makes 1 glass
- The juice of half a lemon
- 2 teaspoons of sugar (to taste, but this amount is a good start)
- 4 raspberries
- 4 ice cubes
- cold water
I doubt you can beat these timings, take them as a guide! OK…..GO!
- 0:00 Thoroughly squeeze half a lemon into a glass
- 0:15 Add sugar
- 0:20 Squash 4 raspberries between your fingers and cast them into the glass
- 0:25 wash your hands
- 0:30 Glass into the microwave for 10-15 sec. Juice will bubble briefly.
- 0:45 Swirl to mix and finish dissolving the sugar.
- 0:50 Add fresh cold tap water, almost to the top.
- 0:55 Add 4 ice cubes and mix again to make sure the drink is cold.
- 1:00 DRINK!!!!
I have not seen such a fast version anywhere else, and it’s hard to imagine making it faster. Of course, it tastes perfectly good. You have to ask yourself if raspberries are worth 10 seconds of your time…otherwise, add whatever you want (mint, orange, grapefruit, parsely, kale, muesli…)
* 1) Smallest volume fraction of total drink heated, 2) heating rate for minimal volume is maximally fast, 3) small heat generated compared to heat capacity of glass, 4) losses are constant so short heating time is efficient