Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Urban Revival

This week, New York City was slammed with its first awful Summer heat wave. The air felt like syrup. I couldn't walk a block without breaking a sweat. And I had a close encounter with a huge, scary bug on the sidewalk outside my office building. Luckily, I had noticed a number of interesting articles recently about infused iced teas and herbed lemonades. So, when my beloved New York gave me some hot, smelly lemons, I took the high road. I made lemonade. Tarragon Lemonade, actually. And I drank every last drop. Over ice. In front of the A/C. It was heaven.

In all honesty, the lemonade wasn't very tarragon-y. The recipe, from the August issue of Food & Wine, called for infusing a simple syrup with sprigs of fresh tarragon, and then mixing that with fresh-squeezed lemon juice and water. Although I halved the recipe, I probably could've used more tarragon, because I could barely detect the herb's sweet, licorice flavor. Nevertheless, the lemonade was delicious. As the recipe promised, the drink's tartness was at a "face-puckering level," and the near-immediate shot of vitamin c was an immediate pick-me-up.

I made Rhubarb Lemonade in the spring, and it wasn't sweet enough for my taste. But I'd happily try Rosemary Limeade, Lavender Coolers, Raspberry Lemonade or Blackberry Iced Tea. For the next heat wave.--S

UPDATE: (7/14/07)
Orangette has a terrific post on lemonade with a recipe for basil lemonade.

Tarragon Lemonade

10 c water
2 1/4 c sugar
17 tarragon sprigs
6 c fresh lemon juice, strained (from about 40 lemons), plus 12 thin lemon slices for garnish

1. In a medium saucepan, combine 4 cups of water with the sugar and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Simmer over moderately high heat until reduced to 3 1/4 cups, about 25 minutes. Remove from the heat and add 5 of the tarragon sprigs [I'd use more; maybe 7.]. Let stand, stirring often, until cooled to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Discard the tarragon sprigs.
2. In a large glass pitcher, combine the remaining 6 cups of water with the tarragon syrup and fresh lemon juice. Add a pinch of salt, stirring until it dissolves. Serve the tarragon lemonade over ice, garnished with the lemon slices and the remaining 12 tarragon sprigs.

Serves 12

Recipe courtesy of Food & Wine

1 comment:

Genie said...

OK...I would NEVER have thought of using tarragon. I'm definitely trying this option soon. Yum!