It starts with simple syrup and it ends that way too.
Basic simple syrup is 1 C. of boiling water and 1/4C of white sugar. I make it up all the time, as it’s the ideal hummingbird nectar. In the summer, it’s also the best way to sweeten various drinks.
So my fresh-squeezed lemonade begins by making simple syrup, which gets shoved into the freezer as soon as the sugar dissolves.
Then the lemons I’ve picked from my trees get cut in half. I get a nice chest press kind of workout in by squeezing the juice out of the lemons by hand. It would be easier with a juicer – yes – but I don’t own one. Can’t even find my manual reamer, so it’s the old-fashioned squeezing for me.
After this, I measure to see how much juice I have. Last weekend, 12 lemons yielded about 3 cups juice. To this I added first 1 cup of simple syrup, tasted. Added some plain water to simply dilute the strength a bit and adjusted with a bit more simple syrup.
Then, as the thermometer climbed to 100, I sat in a cool shady place and sipped.
Simple syrup can be added to brewed iced tea (either by the pitcher or the glass) and to any kind of fruit ade. It can gussied up with fresh herbs (mint, lemon balm, pineapple sage, etc.).