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Juice Bar Manager
August has come and we find ourselves awash in the hot and lazy days of
summer. These are the times when we seek the coolness of shade and escape
from the sun’s powerful rays, or take long trips to the beach to
quench our bodies’ thirst for refreshment. It is a time when the
hustle and bustle of life takes a turn toward the slower, the more reflective
of moods. They are truly the lazy days of summer.
It is important during these sweltering times to remember to protect ourselves
from the harmful effects this heat can have. For example, remaining hydrated
is of crucial importance. Doing so helps our bodies maintain homeostasis
(its natural capacity to stay cool in the summer, warm in the winter,
etc.). Dehydration can result in discomfort, fatigue and a wide variety
of other health problems if unchecked.
Aside from water itself, a variety of beverages are considered to have
cooling properties. Among them are iced tea, citrus beverages, and mint.
I am often reminded during these long and thoughtful days of one of my
childhood dreams: my very own lemonade stand. The lemonade stand is a
symbol for many of us of the times of childhood, of hot summer days, and
an enterprising spirit of independence. The lemonade stand has a history
as long and as rich as that of lemonade itself. It is tempting to believe,
even, that the stand predates the drink!
My own childhood venture was not as successful as I had hoped. Perhaps
it was living on a country road that rarely saw traffic, either on foot
or wheels. Perhaps it was the absence of sugar in my brew that otherwise
contained the best ripe fresh lemons and filtered water (one can’t
think of everything, right?). But despite the underwhelming outcome of
my attempt, many similar undertakings proved very successful—hence
the continuing symbol in our culture that fascinates each new generation
It’s surprising, really, given a little investigation, how much
thought is given to this summer elixir by the young and, well, young at
heart alike. I was surprised to discover various strongly held beliefs
about the beverage that separate its brewers into camps. For example,
the type of sweetener added to the tart and sour juice is a point of some
contention. While some prefer good old granulated sugar, many prefer a
fluid sweetener, such as simple syrup, because of its capacity to incorporate
more readily. Some feel that the drink should encompass the pure, undiluted
flavor of the lemon (a native of southeast Asia in ancient times), while
many enjoy enhancing, offsetting and varying the flavor with such additives
as orange peel, cardamom, and lime.
Whatever the individual preference or taste, this beverage continues to
be a staple of the American summer banquet. Here are a few of the recipes
that quench the thirst of old and young alike.
Best Lemonade Ever
1 3/4 cups white granulated sugar
8 cups water
1 1/2 cups fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Directions: In a small saucepan combine sugar and 1 cup water. Bring to
boil and stir to dissolve sugar. Allow to cool to room temperature, then
cover and refrigerate until chilled.
Remove seeds from lemon juice, but leave pulp. In a pitcher, stir together
chilled syrup, lemon juice, and remaining seven cups water. Makes 20 servings.
Orange Ginger Lemonade
1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
2 quarts water
7 slices fresh ginger root
2 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice
Zest of two oranges
1 lemon, sliced
Several sprigs fresh mint
Directions: In a 4-quart saucepan combine sugar, water, ginger root and
orange zest. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
Stir in lemon juice. Cool 15 minutes. Remove ginger. Refrigerate lemonade
at least 1 hour, or until chilled. Serve over ice, and garnish with lemon
slices and fresh mint.