Limonata with lemon verbena syrup
|June 30, 2011||Posted by ameliaps under Drinks and cocktails, Italia, Italian, italy, lemon|
During the afternoon, while here in Sorrento, I have been sipping on fresh squeezed limonata (lemonade), made from the famous Amalfi coast lemons. Mine come from my parents’ garden. They have a thick and very perfumed rind and lots of tart-sweet juice inside.As a child, I used to eat them just like you eat an apple, skin and all.
Limonata is a fantastic refreshment for the “canicola” (heat of mid day). It’s great to sip on a terrace facing the ocean or at a café while people watching (the other favorite Italian sport, together with calcio / soccer). But it is a fine summer drink anywhere in the world, at any time of day. It makes my work more pleasant, as it gives me a natural pick-me-up when the energy is fading off in the mid hours. To give it some fizz, here in Italy, we add sparkling water (acqua minerale frizzante).
This version of limonata is extra aromatic, because of the herb flavored syrup. My mother grows erba cedrina (Lemon Verbena, Latin name: Lippia Citriodora) in pots made from ancient tiles, some salvaged from the sea, on her sun kissed terrace. This herb smells lemony, citrusy, grassy, and somewhat similar to lemon balm. It is great for alcohol infusions, herbal teas, and to flavor sugar syrup. As with any drink, you can certainly spike this one, later on in the evening, before dinner, maybe with a bit of lemoncello or grappa or vodka (especially as you watch the sun set and sink into the sea like a biscuit dipped in milk), but it really is exquisite solo…
|Limonata with lemon verbena syrup|
- 1/4 liter (1 cup) freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 6 lemons)
- 1/4 liter (1 cup) lemon verbena simple syrup
- 1 liter (4 cups, 33.8 fl oz., 1 qt.) sparkling water (or soda water)
- To present: 1 sliced lemon and a few more leaves of fresh lemon verbena
- Lemon verbena (erba cedrina) simple syrup
- 100ml. = 1/2 cup water
- 100 gr.=1/2 cup unrefined sugar
- A bunch of lemon verbena –or basil or mint
- Combine the freshly squeezed lemon juice and the lemon verbena simple syrup. Right as you are ready to serve, add the sparkling water. Pour in glasses filled with crushed ice, lemon slices and a few leaves of lemon verbena.
- NOTE: if you prefer yours a bit more lemony, just reduce the amount of water… and of course, increase it if you don’t want a strong lemon flavor.
- Dissolve water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring mixture to a boil just enough to dissolve the sugar. Add the lemon verbena –or basil or mint. Steep a few minutes. Let cool. Set aside