August 2004

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Juice Bar News
Liam Donohue
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.

Cooling Beverages
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 of children.

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.

Lemonade Recipes
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.