Cookbook Review: Lemonade
50 Cool Recipes From Fred Thompson
Photograph by Susan Byrnes.
When Martha Stewart was released from federal prison, she was asked what she missed the most. Her answer: fresh lemons. While it might not have been the first thing I would have said, I understood the craving, especially in the summer when lemons are a thirst-quenching essential. Right up there with cold beer and the stinging bubbles in a well-chilled seltzer.
Lemonade, and the versions made from other citrus fruits, is both satisfying and nostalgic; just think how lemonade stands are a shorthand for the romance of summertime. Plus the tart lemon flavor is a good match for adding spirits, whether it's vodka, rum, bourbon, or even beer. And while the South may stake a claim to the drink, we Yankees are just as appreciative.
Just in time for this steamy summer is Fred Thompson's book, Lemonade: 50 Cool Recipes for Classic, Flavored, and Hard Lemonades and Sparklers. (Merely writing that title gave me a pucker.)
This book is a sweet, slim volume with just enough photos to inspire you to get out your reamer and get the blender ready. Before heading into the recipes, Mr. Thompson offers tips for how to buy and store lemons, when to use frozen lemonade and limeade concentrates, and making and using zest and also sugar syrup, which once you get its versatility, you'll want to keep a jar of it on-hand all summer long.
The 50 recipes begin with the basics and soon head into lemonades made with strawberries, guava nectar, pineapple, and my favorite, watermelon. There are sparklers, like Cran-Orange Lemonade made with fresh orange juice and lemon-flavored sparkling water. Fresh mint is added to some, and basil to others. And for those who want to imbibe with their lemonade, Thompson has 14 versions with alcohol, like his Lynchburg Lemonade with Jack Daniel's and Grand Marnier, a Lemonade Martini, and the centuries-old English drink called a Shandy, which is a mix of lemonade and beer.
The book is published by Harvard Common Press, has a list price of $12.95, and is a handy slim volume that most home cooks would appreciate, whether it's because you entertain a lot in the summer or just want to give your kids some proper training for their lemonade business.
We've been given permission to share two recipes. I've chosen ones that don't need Mr. Thompson's recipe for splendid Old Fashioned Lemonade for which you should get the book. See our links to Saturday's Limeade, which is acutely refreshing and made with fresh limes, and Slush Puppy Deluxe, which is a satisfying mix of tea, frozen lemonade and frozen orange juice concentrates, and dark rum. Either -- or both -- will kiss the summer doldrums goodbye.
You can find the book here: Lemonade (50 Series)